New Zealanders spent more on their credit and debit cards in April than they did in the same month a year earlier, snapping two monthly declines. The seasonally adjusted value of total transactions on electronic cards rose 0.6 percent to $5.46 billion last month, according to Statistics New Zealand.
That's the second gain in the past six months. Core retail spending, which strips out motor vehicle-related expenditure, rose 0.7 percent to $3.39 billion, with a 1.1 percent gain in consumables, a 1 percent increase in durables and a 1.4 percent rise in hospitality.
Spending on apparel bucked the trend, falling 3.7 percent to $271 million in April. The figures come after Warehouse Group, the country's biggest listed retailer, said clothing and footwear were the only divisions that didn't show a pick-up in consumer demand in the three months ended April 29, which captures the latest data.
Credit and debit card spending on fuel fell 1 percent to $611 million, while vehicle expenditure excluding petrol fell 0.4 percent to $109 million. Spending on services shrank 0.4 percent to $168 million. Non-retail industries gained 0.5 percent to $1.18 billion.
Unadjusted total spending on electronic cards climbed 1.4 percent to $5.24 billion in April. Credit card use as a proportion of total spending dropped to 42.9 percent, its smallest monthly proportion since September. The figures come ahead of Statistics NZ's retail trade survey for the first three months of the year on Monday.