Quarterly card spending rose at fastest pace in seven years

card paymentRetail card spending in the September quarter rose at its fastest pace in seven and a half years, according to Stats NZ.

Increased grocery, liquor and fuel spending drove a 2.3 per cent jump in retail card spending in the quarter, the largest percentage rise since December 2010.

“The September quarter’s strong rise came after a slight dip in the June 2018 quarter,” Stats NZ retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

Spending rose across all six retail industries, with the largest increase, 2.4 per cent, or $140 million, seen in grocery and liquor, following a 0.6 per cent fall in the June quarter. Fuel spending rose $65 million, or 3.4 per cent, following a 0.3 per cent fall in the preceding quarter.

“The fuel industry rise coincided with rising petrol prices,” Chapman said, noting that petrol prices rose to record levels by the end of the quarter after a regional fuel tax was introduced.

In real terms, retail card spending reached $16 billion in the September quarter, an increase of $773 million (5.2 per cent) from the same quarter in 2017. On a monthly basis, actual retail spending using electronic cards reached $5.2 billion, with Chapman noting this was the second month in a row to see an increase of over 1 per cent as well as increases across all industries.

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