Credit card spending in April saw a rise after a slow start to the year. The rise has been credited to a record increase of grocery and liquor sales.
Retail spending on credit and debit cards rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent last month, following a 0.3 percent decline in March and a 0.6 percent decline in February, Stats New Zealand said.
Spending rose in three of the six retail industries in April, the government department said. The largest movements were consumables, with spending up 2.2 percent, and durables, up 1.3 percent. Hospitality spending rose 0.7 percent while apparel spending fell 1.2 percent.
The figures show core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related industries, rose 1.4 percent in April. Core retail spending was flat in March.
Credit cards accounted for 48.8 percent of transactions, down from 49.7 percent in March, though still up from 45.7 percent a year earlier.
Card-holders made 134 million transactions in April versus 143 million in March. The average value was $49, unchanged from the prior month.
According to Stats NZ, in 2016 alcohol consumption had hit an all-time low.
In 2015 the standard volume of alcohol was the equivalent of two standard drinks a day per person.
That was down 4.1 percent on the previous year and the lowest volume of alcohol available per capita since 1997.
Countdown supermarket has been reaping the benefits of a rise in grocery sales and has now launched its new health star rating on all its own brand items.
The Countdown mailer that is sent out each week also includes liquor deals. While PAK’n’SAVE’s Wine and Beer week is still the chains most advertised week.