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Retail card spending flat in June on lower fuel costs

Thursday 11th July 2019

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Consumers spent less on fuel in June but more on furniture, hardware and appliances.

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending was unchanged in June after falling 0.5 percent in May, according to Statistics New Zealand. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent lift. Core retail spending, excluding fuel and vehicle purchases, lifted 0.4 percent after falling 0.5 percent in May. 

The largest movement came from a fall in fuel spending, down 4.3 percent, or $26 million from May, at $574 million. 

“The fall in fuel retail spending coincided with lower fuel prices in June,” Stats NZ retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said. “On average, fuel prices were down around 8 cents per litre over the month.”

On the flip side, the largest increase was on durable goods - furniture, hardware and appliance - where spending lifted 1.7 percent, or $22 million, to $1.3 billion. Chapman said that apparel such as clothes and shoes also recovered, lifting 2.1 percent, or $6.5 million, to $309 million. That spending had fallen 1.5 percent in May. 

Spending on consumables fell 0.3 percent, or $5.4 million, to $2.04 billion. Spending on hospitality dipped 0.6 percent, or $6.2 million, to $1.08 billion. 

In actual terms, retail spending on electronic cards totalled $5.1 billion in June, up 1.1 percent, or $57 million, from the same month a year ago. 

Core retail spending was $4.4 billion, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. 

Cardholders made 142 million transactions across all industries in June with an average value of $49 per transaction. 

(BusinessDesk)

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