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New Zealand Inflation Eases; Credit Card Spending Falls

New Zealand consumer price inflation eased in the fourth quarter, and credit card spending fell in December after rising in the previous month, official data showed on Friday.

The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, slower than 0.7 percent in the third quarter, data from Statistics New Zealand showed.

This was the lowest since first quarter, when inflation was 0.1 percent.

Prices for transport grew 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter and recreation and culture rose 1.6 percent. Housing and household cost increased by 0.5 percent, while food prices fell 0.6 percent.

On an annual basis, consumer prices rose 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, after a 1.5 percent increase in the previous quarter.

Credit card spending fell 0.9 percent month-on-month in December, after a 1.5 percent rise in November, data from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand revealed.

In October, credit card spending declined 1.6 percent.

Domestic billing fell 0.8 percent monthly to NZ$4.105 billion and overseas billings rose 2.6 percent to NZ$498 million.

On a year-on-year basis, overall credit card spending increased 3.4 percent in December, following a 4.4 percent rise in the previous month.

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