Retail card spending edged up 0.9 percent in September compared with August, as COVID-19 alert levels eased from level 3 to level 2, except in Auckland, Stats NZ reports.
“Card sales remained low in September, as Auckland was in COVID-19 alert level 4, before dropping to alert level 3 towards the end of the month,” says business performance manager Ricky Ho.
Seasonally adjusted retail spending was up $45 million (0.9 percent), and total spending was up $104 million (1.6 percent) in September 2021, compared with August 2021.
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 to $193 million (17.5 percent).
Seasonally adjusted spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) had the largest fall, down $83 million (3.3 percent) from August 2021.
“This fall comes on the back of high groceries spending in August, as supermarkets are an essential service that stays open throughout the lockdowns,” says Ho.
September 2021 quarter
In the September quarter, seasonally adjusted retail spending decreased by $2.1 billion (11.6 percent), and total spending was down $3.1 billion (13.4 percent) 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,” says Ho.
“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.