Fuel puts the brake on card spending

Electronic Card Transactions: August 2016  –  Media Release

Total retail spending using electronic cards was $4.7 billion in August 2016, up $166 million (3.7 percent) from August 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. Of the six retail industries, the only decrease was in the fuel industry, down $36 million (6.1 percent).

“The lower fuel price means people are spending less at the pumps,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said. “This month’s petrol price was around 20 cents less a litre than it was in August last year.”

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending decreased 0.4 percent in August 2016 from July 2016. This follows a 0.2 percent rise in July.

Five of the six retail industries fell, while one remained unchanged, when seasonally adjusted. The largest decreases were for:

  • hospitality, down $14 million (1.5 percent)
  • consumables, down $8.1 million (0.5 percent).

The decreases for these two industries follow increases in spending in recent months. The hospitality industry includes accommodation, bars, cafes and restaurants, and takeaway retailing. The consumables industry includes grocery and liquor retailing.

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) decreased 0.6 percent in August 2016, after a 0.6 percent increase in July.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services, and other non-retail), was down 0.8 percent in August. This follows a 0.3 percent increase in July 2016.

Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have generally been rising since these series began in October 2002, but appear to be easing in recent months.

Values are only available at the national level, and are not adjusted for price changes.


For media enquiries contact: Neil Kelly, Christchurch 03 964 8957, [email protected]
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 9 September 2016


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