11 Jun 2014

Retail spending rises in May

3:34 pm on 11 June 2014

The pace of retail spending using electronic cards has picked up.

Figures show seasonally adjusted spending using debit, credit and charge cards, rose 1.3 percent in May compared with the previous month.

The pace of retail spending using electronic cards has picked up.

The pace of retail spending using electronic cards has picked up. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Statistics New Zealand said the increase was mainly due to people spending more on fuel, and food and drink.

Excluding cars and vehicle parts, core retail spending rose 1 percent.

The figures for all industries rose, including a rebound in purchases of durable goods such as furniture and whiteware, and clothing and footwear.

ANZ Bank senior economist Mark Smith said household purchases had accelerated following subdued spending earlier in the year.

"April and the previous months were quite soft. We have a very warm autumn and we also had the Easter and Anzac Day-related holidays," Mr Smith said.

"These two factors contributed to a bit of softness over the previous months. May we're now seeing a rebound."

Meanwhile, the number of people staying in the country's hotels, motels and holiday parks has hit new highs.

Statistics New Zealand said guest nights spent in short-term accommodation rose 3.2 percent in April. That follows a fall in the previous month.

Guest nights rose for both main islands and for domestic and international travellers.