New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards rose in January, led by hospitality and durables, while the falling price of petrol led to lower expenditure on fuel.
Spending on core retail, which encompasses consumables, durables, hospitality and apparel, rose 0.6 per cent last month, Statistics New Zealand said. Including vehicle-related industries, retail spending increased 0.3 percent.
Spending on hospitality, which includes accommodation, bars, cafes and restaurants, gained 1.2 per cent, suggesting retailers are continuing to enjoy tourist-related sales.
"Hospitality spending growth has been the star performer for the last three months and is now sitting 13 per cent higher than January 2015's levels," said ASB Bank economist Kim Mundy. "This lines up with recent anecdotes of a particularly strong tourist season this summer.
"Record low interest rates, record high net migration and strong tourist inflows will continue to support spending levels going forward," Mundy said.
Government figures this month showed overseas visitor arrivals reached a record 3.13 million in calendar 2015, up 10 per cent from a year earlier.
Today's data showed spending on durables rose 0.8 per cent last month, while spending on fuel fell 2 per cent.
The total value of electronic card spending, including services and other non-retail industries, rose 0.6 per cent in January, following a 0.4 per cent gain in December.
In actual terms, there were 127 million transactions across all industry groups in January, with an average value of $51 and a total value of $6.4 billion.