New Zealand retail spending on debit, credit and charge cards rose more than expected last month, stoking optimism for a fourth-quarter rebound in fourth-quarter sales after a surprise decline in the third quarter.

Electronic card transactions rose 0.5 per cent, seasonally adjusted in November, following a 0.4 per cent increase in the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Actual sales rose 6.2 per cent in November from the same month last year. Sales beat a Reuters survey forecast 0.4 per cent monthly gain for a 4.6 per cent gain in the year.

The biggest increases were for hospitality, such as accommodation, bars, cafes and restaurants, up 2.6 per cent, and durables, ranging from furniture to household appliances, up 1.6 per cent, the government statistician said.


The electronic sales data comes after figures last month showed retail sales volumes fell 0.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent in the third quarter, among figures that had economists fretting third quarter gross domestic product due out on Dec. 20 will print weaker than expected.

The November figures follow "broad-based growth in October transactions, setting Q4 up for solid growth," UBS economist Robin Clements said in a brief initial assessment.

Transactions for core retail groups, which exclude motor vehicle-related industries, rose 1 per cent in November, seasonally adjusted after a 0.3 per cent gain in October.

Fuel was the only category to register a decline, dropping 0.8 per cent.