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Retail card spending reaches new high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017

Christmas shoppers and tourists helped propel retail spending on electronic cards to its highest monthly total in December, even as spending actually fell when seasonally adjusted.

Total retail spending on cards was $6.5 billion in December 2016, up $355 million or 5.8 per cent from December 2015, Statistics New Zealand said.

The largest industry increase came from hospitality, which was up $126m or 13.4 per cent.

"This is the first month card spending in hospitality exceeded $1b," 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 per cent in December 2016, following on from a 0.1 per cent fall in November, according to Statistics NZ.

Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related industries, dropped 0.8 per cent in December after also falling in November.

Spending on durables fell 1.4 per or $17m, while fuel spending 4.4 per cent or $26m.

Shoppers made 153 million transactions using cards in December.

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