Retail card spending has seen healthy growth for the start of 2018. Card spending for the month of January was reported by the BusinessDesk as increasing by 1.4 percent.
Hardware, furniture and dining out are the expected reason for the increase, with January being the fifth straight month of growth.
Spending rose across four of the six retail industries:
1) Hospitality increased by 1.5 percent
2) Durables spending rose 1.2 percent
3) Fuel spending increased 1.5 percent
4) Consumables edged up 0.3 percent
On the other hand, as four categories rose, apparel slipped 0.1 percent and vehicles excluding fuel dipped 0.6 percent.
Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Satish Ranchhod, says they’re expecting to see continued strength in spending in the early part of 2018 as mortgage rates edge down.
"Stats NZ has attributed this to spending associated with increased purchases of ‘back to school’ supplies, which increasingly include electronic devices. However, we have also seen a second-wind in the housing market that is likely to have boosted spending on durable items. Spending on hospitality was also up, suggesting that New Zealanders were getting out and taking advantage of the hot weather at the start of the year."
Today's figures show actual total retail spending climbed 3.4 percent to $5.3 billion in January from the same month a year earlier.
Card-holders across all industries made 141 million transactions in the month, down from 161 million in December but ahead of the 133 million transactions recorded in January last year.
The average value of $50 was unchanged from January last year, but down from $53 in December.