Retail card spending up across the board in January

Electronic Card Transactions: January 2017  –  Media Release

Retail spending using electronic cards was $5.1 billion in January 2017, up $270 million (5.6 percent) from January 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today. All six retail industries had increases. 

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail card spending rose 2.7 percent in January 2017 from December 2016. All six retail industries were up compared with December 2016. This is the biggest percentage increase since January 2006. However, the lift follows flat results in both December and November 2016, with October only up 0.5 percent.

In January, the largest seasonally adjusted increase was from the durables industry, up $37 million (3.1 percent). This follows falls in the previous three months. The durables industry includes furniture, hardware, and appliance retailing.

“The lift in retail card spending in January was across the board, from food and liquor to clothing, petrol, and cars, as well as a bounce back for furniture, hardware, and appliances,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 2.5 percent in January 2017, after a 0.7 percent fall in December 2016 and a 0.4 percent fall in November 2016.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services, and other non-retail), rose 2.5 percent in January 2017.

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

Values are only available at the national level, so it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the possible regional impact of the 14 November 2016 earthquake. Values are not adjusted for price changes.


For media enquiries contact: Neil Kelly, Christchurch 03 964 8957, [email protected]
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 13 February 2017


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