10 Nov 2011

NZers forecast to tighten purse strings post World Cup

8:20 am on 10 November 2011

An economist says there may be a lull in spending as New Zealanders tighten their purse strings after the Rugby World Cup.

Electronic card statistics, released on Wednesday, showed spending on cards rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5%, to $4.1 billion in October - the largest monthly rise since April.

The pickup makes up for rather a lacklustre spending increase in September and is largely due to more spending on fuel, clothes and hospitality.

ANZ economist Mark Smith says many of the extra purchases will be due to the Rugby World Cup - although the figures may understate the real spending increase gleaned from the six-week tournament.

He says the electronic card statistics don't take into account ATM transactions and cash purchases and these figures will be captured in the Retail Trade Survey. Third quarter data is due out on Monday.

Mr Smith says it's likely a more tangible Rugby World Cup impact will come through in that survey.

He says consumers are resilient, but now the tournament's over many are focussing on just getting by.

Compared with a year ago, the total value of actual sales rose 6.9%, compared with an annual increase of 6.5% in September.