Apparel and hospitality sectors saw electronic card spending rise. Photo by ODT.
Electronic card spending during December was up almost 1% and
all transactions were worth $7.2 billion, led by large gains
in the apparel and hospitality sectors.
Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said yesterday electronic card
spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in the core retail
industries during December - the third consecutive monthly
SNZ industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said
hospitality had the largest rise, then the consumables and
''Shoppers spent more in all four core retail industries,
three of which had reasonably large rises in December,'' he
Hospitality was up 2.1%, consumables (including food and
liquor) up 0.7% and apparel up 3%.
In unadjusted SNZ data, there were 128 million transaction
across all industries in December, with an average value of
$56, totalling nearly $7.2 billion.
Separate data last week from Paymark, which processes 75% of
the country's electronic transactions, showed more than $270
million was spent in Otago during December, up at least $17.4
million on a year ago.
National Paymark spending in December was up 7.5% at more
than $5 billion.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the SNZ card
transaction data suggested a ''strong finish'' to 2013. Sales
were strong for both the month of December and the quarter to
December, which was in line with the ASB's expectations.
''We expect private consumption to make a stronger
contribution to overall economic growth in the fourth quarter
than in [the previous] third quarter,'' Mr Tuffley said.
The cards transactions data reinforced the broader story of
ongoing economic recovery, led by housing, construction and
consumer spending growth.
''We continue to expect the Reserve Bank to first lift the
official cash rate in March this year,'' Mr Tuffley said in a
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the 0.9%
December rise followed a ''modest'' 0.3% rise in November,
with year-on-year growth rising from 5.8% to 6.5%.
Spending rose across all but one of the major categories.
Spending on vehicles was flat, while fuel sales were up 1.2%,
which was partly due to higher prices, Mr Gordon said in a
SPENDING in December
$14m (up 2.1%)
$11m (up 0.7%)
$9m (up 3%)
SOURCE: STATISTICS NZ