New Zealand retail spending flat thanks to lower petrol prices

Time: 2019-07-11
Summary: New Zealand retail spending flat thanks to lower petrol prices
         New Zealand's total retail card spending was flat in June 2019, with a bounceback in some industries offset by a drop in spending on fuel, Stats NZ said on Thursday.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, card spending was relatively unchanged in June, following a 0.5 percent fall in May 2019.

The largest movement came from a fall in the fuel industry, down 26 million New Zealand dollars (4.3 percent) from May 2019.

"The fall in fuel retail spending coincided with lower fuel prices in June," retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said. "On average, fuel prices were down around 8 cents per litre over the month."

A rise in three industries was offset by a fall in three others. The largest increase came from the durables industry, up 22 million New Zealand dollars (1.7 percent).

"Sales of durables, such as furniture, hardware, and appliances, bounced back from the fall in May," Chapman said. "Sales of apparel such as clothes and shoes also recovered in June, up 2.1 percent, after falling 1.5 percent in May."

Core retail spending (excluding vehicle-related industries) rose 0.4 percent in June, after a 0.5 percent fall in May.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and non-retail), rose 0.1 percent in June, following a 0.2 percent rise in May.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail card spending was up 0.3 percent in the June 2019 quarter, following a 0.9 percent rise in the March 2019 quarter.

"Retail card spending has slowed over the last three quarters, after a strong rise in the September 2018 quarter," Chapman said.

"In the June quarter, the rise in card spending was driven by people spending more on food and liquor." (1 New Zealand dollar equals 0.66 U.S. dollar)                                                  

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