Record month for card spending

Electronic Card Transactions: December 2016  –  Media Release

Retail spending using electronic cards reached the highest-ever monthly figure in December 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Total retail spending using electronic cards was $6.5 billion in December 2016, up $355 million (5.8 percent) from December 2015. The largest industry increase came from hospitality, up $126 million (13.4 percent).

“This is the first month card spending in hospitality exceeded $1 billion,” business indicators manager Tehseen Islam said. “The higher hospitality spending coincides with a period of rising international tourism and residents enjoying Christmas and New Year holiday breaks.”

However, when adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending fell 0.1 percent in December 2016. This follows a 0.1 percent fall in November 2016.

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose in three of the six retail industries. The largest movements in December 2016 were:

  • fuel, up $26 million (4.4 percent)
  • durables, down $17 million (1.4 percent).

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) fell 0.8 percent in December 2016, after a 0.5 percent fall in November 2016.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services, and other non-retail) was unchanged in December 2016. This follows a 0.3 percent fall in November 2016.

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

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


For media enquiries contact: Tehseen Islam, Christchurch 021 241 7253, [email protected]
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 13 January 2017


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