11 Feb 2015

Retail spending edges down

1:59 pm on 11 February 2015

Retail spending using electronic cards has edged down for the third successive month, due to falling fuel prices.

Official figures show seasonally adjusted spending using debit, credit and charge cards fell 0.4 percent to $4.69 billion in January, compared with the previous month.

Statistics New Zealand said falling fuel prices meant people spent less filling their vehicles, which offset a rise in purchases of food, drink and durables.

Excluding cars and fuel, core retail spending rose 0.9 percent.

Senior economist at ANZ Bank, Mark Smith said consumers are redirecting fuel savings elsewhere.

He said while fuel prices have risen this month, retail spending should remain robust and in line with income growth.

Compared with a year ago, the pace of core spending accelerated to 7.6 percent.

Spending using electronic cards accounts for two-thirds of all retail spending.

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