Spending on credit and debit cards in New Zealand rose in June, led by increased spending on durable goods.
Retail spending rose 1.2 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, after a 0.3 percent decline in May, Statistics New Zealand said. All six retail industries recorded gains in the latest month, the first time since March 2015. The biggest increase was felt in durable goods, where spending advanced 1.4 percent. Actual sales were up 6.8 percent in June from the same month last year.
Consumer spending is being underpinned by record low interest rates and an expanded population due to record high migration and tourism levels. Spending on durable goods, which includes, furniture, hardware and appliances as well as pharmacy, cosmetic and toiletry retailing, has gained every month so far this year.
"Gains in spending were widespread in June," Westpac Bank senior economist Satish Ranchhod said in a note. "There were particularly large increases in spending on durables (likely related to the continuing strength of the housing market) and apparel, possibly assisted by the recent turn in the weather. The strong tourism season also appears be boosting spending with a solid increase in spending on hospitality.
"Smoothing through recent volatility in spending and instead looking at annual figures, we're left with a relatively firm picture for the retail sector," he said.
Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related industries, rose 1 percent in the month for an 8.5 percent annual gain. Total electronic card transactions rose 1 percent in June.
Card-holders made 128 million transactions in June with an average value of $49. The total amount spent across all transactions was $6.3 billion.