12 Dec 2012

Card spending rises in November

7:40 am on 12 December 2012

Higher spending on furniture, appliances and at bars and restaurants helped lift electronic retail spending last month.

Electronic card transactions, which include debit, credit and charge cards, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in November, figures from Statistics New Zealand show.

Spending on durables, including furniture, hardware and appliances rose 1.6%.

Hospitality spending, which encompasses accommodation, bars, cafes, and restaurants, jumped 2.6%.

Fuel was the only category to fall, with spending down 0.8%.

In the year to November, retail sales jumped 6% compared with a 3% rise in the year to October.

ASB senior economist Jane Turner says retail spending has been gradually rising this year, but the household sector remains cautious.

The modest rise in spending will not cause any changes to interest rates.

Ms Turner says the modest rise in spending will not cause any changes to interest rates and expects the Reserve Bank will leave the Official Cash Rate on hold at very low levels until 2013.

She says continued growth in retail spending is expected, particularly with an improvement in the labour market.

The electronic card data covers about two-thirds of retail sales and is the main measure of monthly retail activity.