Shoppers seemed to hold back on their credit card spending in
July, as electronic card spending remained flat on the
On an annual basis, sales were up 4.3% from July last year.
ASB economist Christina Leung said excluding the volatile
auto component of electronic card spending, core retail
spending was up a ''more respectable'' 0.5% in July.
Auto included fuel and automobile-related purchases.
''Focusing on the core spending result, we retain our view of
a continued improvement in underlying household spending.
"Consumer confidence remains high, supported by a pick-up in
the labour market.
"This should encourage further modest growth in household
There were no fresh implications for monetary policy from
yesterday's data, Ms Leung said.
ASB had forecast the Reserve Bank would hold its official
cash rate at 3.5% until March next year.
The Statistics NZ data gave mixed results for the various
components of the spending.
Consumables improved from a weak June, rising 0.3%, but still
looked on the soft side in light of recent strong population
Durables bounced back from a weak June, recording a 0.9%
Continuing the mixed theme, apparel posted a strong 1.7% rise
while hospitality fell 0.6%.
Ms Leung said the mixed data was in line with the contrasting
fortunes of the housing and labour markets.
The housing market had cooled but the labour market continued
Households remained confident but their level of confidence
had not translated into the same level of spending.
The June-quarter retail-trade survey on Thursday would
provide a more detailed gauge of household spending, she