8 Apr 2014

Card spending falls in March

7:57 am on 8 April 2014

Consumer spending is cooling, with one senior economist linking the slowdown to rising interest rates.

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Electronic spending though the Paymark network, which processes about three-quarters of all transactions, was nearly 7 percent higer March compared with the same period a year ago.

But a senior economist at ANZ Bank Mark Smith said the pace of growth had slowed in most regions, except Canterbury.

Despite consumer confidence near all-time highs, Mr Smith said the prospect of higher interest rates may be dampening household spending plans.

The Reserve Bank is expected to raise the official cash rate from 2.75 percent to 3 percent later this month, with the cost of borrowing to stand at 3.5 percent by the end of the year.