27 Jan 2009

Less credit card debt being paid back

9:12 am on 27 January 2009

Consumers are spending less on their credit cards but latest figures show more are being hit with interest charges on outstanding balances.

Reserve Bank statistics show consumers spent 2.2% less on credit cards in December compared to November, the third consecutive monthly fall.

However the outstanding balance, or amount still owed, on credit cards rose to $5.23 billion, a 4.4% increase on a year ago.

ANZ economist Philip Borkin said says the low levels of credit card spending cements December trading as one of the worst on record for retailers.

Earlier, Statistics New Zealand data showed the value of seasonally adjusted retail electronic card transactions fell 0.5% in December compared with the previous month.