Card spending edges up as alert level changes

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Seasonally adjusted card spending rose in three of the six retail industries in September 2021, with higher sales of durable goods (such as furniture, hardware, and appliances) driving the increase, up $193 million (17.5 per cent).

Seasonally adjusted spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) had the largest fall, down $83 million (3.3 per cent) from August 2021.

“This fall comes on the back of high groceries spending in August, as supermarkets are an essential service that stay open throughout the lockdowns.”

September 2021 quarter

In the September quarter, seasonally adjusted retail spending decreased by $2.1 billion (11.6 per cent), and total spending was down $3.1 billion (13.4 per cent) compared with the June 2021 quarter.

“With New Zealand moving into varying alert levels over the last quarter, card spending saw a drop, but spending on groceries increased.

“The drop in total card spending this quarter is smaller than the drop in the June 2020 quarter, when the country was under alert level 4 lockdown for almost the entire month of April 2020."

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

Electronic card transaction data covers the use of credit or debit cards in shops or online, and includes both the retail and services industries.

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