Total card spending across all industries was relatively flat (up 0.1 per cent) in February 2018, when adjusted for seasonal effects, Stats NZ said on Friday.
Retail card spending dipped 0.3 percent in February, after five consecutive monthly increases.
“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.”
The motor vehicle industry was the only industry with relatively good growth, with a 2.3 per cent or $3.9 million increase compared with January 2018.
Spending was quiet across the rest of the give 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.