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New Zealand November Credit Card Spending Ebbs

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Overall credit card spending in New Zealand fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in November, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday.

That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month following a downward revision from -0.1 percent.

Retail credit card spending sank 0.4 percent - missing forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent following the downwardly revised flat reading in October (originally up 0.1 percent).

Spending in the core retail industries (which excludes fuel and vehicles) advanced 0.5 percent.

By industry, the movements were: hospitality, up NZ$14 million (1.3 percent); durables, up NZ$11 million (0.8 percent); vehicles (excluding fuel), up NZ$3.4 million (2.0 percent); apparel, up NZ$2.8 million (0.9 percent); consumables, down NZ$6.5 million (0.3 percent); and fuel, down NZ$48 million (7.2 percent).

Card spending on fuel was down 7.2 percent when compared with October 2018.

"Spending on fuel was NZ$625 million, the lowest monthly total since October 2017," retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said. "During November, average fuel prices had dropped around 20 cents a liter. This made pump prices the lowest they had been since October 2017."

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and other non-retail) fell 0.2 percent in November. This follows a 0.2 percent fall in October 2018.

The non-retail (excluding services) category remained relatively unchanged, and the services category rose NZ$3.3 million (1.2 percent). The non-retail (excluding services) category includes travel, health, and wholesaling.

In actual terms, cardholders made 152 million transactions across all industries in November 2018, with an average of NZ$50 per transaction. The total amount spent using electronic cards was NZ$7.6 billion.

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