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Electronic Card Spending Rises In May

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 10 NZPA - Electronic card spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in May, with increases in consumables which include food, liquor and pharmacy goods having a major impact.

Last month's increase follows a rise of 0.8 percent in April which was the strongest rise since last October, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) figures released today show.

The core retail sector, which excludes vehicle-related industries, was up a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent last month. That was the third consecutive monthly increase and the highest rise since last July, which was also up 1.6 percent.

Despite a fall in vehicle fuel sales, retail transactions rose 0.9 percent in May, the fourth consecutive monthly increase and the highest rise since last October.

The figures are based on transactions made with credit and debit cards, and SNZ said that in May debit card usage reached its highest proportion since the series began at 56.9 percent.

Deutsche Bank chief economist Darren Gibbs said that in broad terms today's data indicated consumer spending was beginning to recover.

That was thanks to the combined impact of past easing of monetary policy, aggressive fiscal stimulus and rising net migrant flows.

Given the monetary stimulus that remained in the pipeline, as people continued to refinance onto lower mortgage rates, he expected growth in retail spending to pick up a little further as the year went on.

But given the pressure on households to rebuild balance sheets and concerns about job security he would be surprised to see growth rebound strongly.

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