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NZ tourism spurs July lift in card spend

AAP logoAAP 9/08/2016 Paul McBeth

Spending on electronic cards rose strongly last month, led by the biggest monthly gain in hospitality expenditure since November as the sector continues to enjoy the benefits of an expanding population and booming New Zealand tourism numbers.

Retail spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent in July, slowing from the 1.2 per cent increase in June, Statistics New Zealand said. However, spending on hospitality was up 2.9 per cent in July, the largest area of increase. Spending on fuel dropped 3.6 per cent as cheap oil continues to reduce costs for motorists. Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related items, was up 0.7 per cent in the month.

The hospitality sector has been reaping the benefits of New Zealand's prolonged tourism boom at the same time as record net migration numbers have boosted the population.

Tuesday's data show electronic card spending on hospitality in July was 18 per cent higher than a year earlier at $NZ925 million ($A863.11 million). Core retail spending was up 8.3 per cent at $NZ4.11 billion ($A3.84 billion) in July from a year earlier, with expenditure on consumable goods gaining 5.5 per cent to $NZ1.74 billion ($A1.62 billion), durables items up 6.5 per cent to $NZ1.15 billion ($A1.07 billion), and apparel spending up 5.1 per cent to $NZ291 billion ($A271.53 billion).

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