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New Zealand February Credit Card Spending Adds 0.1%


Overall credit card spending in New Zealand gained a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in February, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday.

That follows the 0.6 percent increase in January.

Retail credit card spending sank 0.3 percent on month, missing forecasts for a gain of 0.1 percent following the 1.4 percent gain in the previous month.

It was the first decline after five straight months of gain.

"February's decline was led by a 0.5 percent fall in spending on consumables, which includes grocery and liquor retailing," retail manager Sue Chapman said.

"This is the first decrease in the consumables group since May 2017 and could be the effect of people hunkering down during the two ex-tropical cyclones that hit this month."

Spending was subdued across most of the six retail industries. There was little or no change in durables (includes hardware, furniture, and appliances), hospitality (accommodation, bars, cafes, restaurants, and takeaways), apparel (clothing and footwear), and fuel.

Core retail sales (which excludes the fuel and vehicle-related industries) rose 0.3 percent.

Actual retail spending using electronic cards was NZ$4.9 billion in February 2018, up NZ$157 million (3.3 percent) from February 2017.

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