Electronic card spending remained flat in June. Photo from
the ODT files.
The flat outcome in retail spending in June was softer
than expectations but does not change the view of a continued
improvement in underlying household spending.
Consumer confidence remains high, supported by an improvement
in the labour market which should encourage further growth in
ASB economist Christina Leung said there were no fresh
implications for monetary policy from the Statistics New
Zealand data released yesterday.
''We continue to expect the Reserve Bank will again lift the
official cast rate at the July 24 meeting, before pausing
There were a few areas of softness in the figures, including
a 0.7% fall in spending on durables.
That was likely to reflect the easing in housing market
activity in recent months.
Spending on durables had increased since late 2012, in line
with house sales as households purchased appliances and
furniture to furnish their new homes.
Recent consumer confidence surveys noted continued high
levels of optimism in regards to big-ticket purchases and
growth in durables spending was expected to continue, Ms
The high level of consumer confidence was underpinning other
areas of discretionary spending on vehicles and eating out
Those areas were expected to show continued growth in the
coming year, as the household sector was encouraged by
continued improvement in the labour market.
The 1.6% increase in fuel spending in June was broadly in
line with the increase in petrol prices in the month, she
''Overall, the picture of continued momentum in household
spending remains intact. Households are showing increased
optimism in regards to eating out and making big-ticket
purchases. Recent business confidence surveys also show the
retail sector remaining fairly buoyant,'' Ms Leung said.
Electronic card transactions
•Total retail: 0% in June, 5.2% for year ended
•Ex-auto and services: -0.4% in June, 4.5% for year