Retail card spending sees slight increase

Following a 2.3 percent decrease over December, retail card spending came back 1.8 percent in January, according to Stats New Zealand. January’s core retail spending rose 2.2 percent compared to the 1.7 percent fall seen in December.

Sue Chapman, retail statistics manager of Stats New Zealand said a lag in processing transactions might have contributed to the movements seen between December and January. The increase in retail card spending was put down to a rise in the sales of furniture, hardware, appliances and pharmaceuticals.

Fuel retailing was the only sector to see a decrease in spending—total card spending dropped 0.5 percent. This is equal to about $2.8 million, which is dwarfed by the $92 million drop seen in the September quarter. Chapman said, “The savings at the pump don’t appear to have leaked across to other retail industries.”