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Car spending bright spot for retail

Industry enjoys $5m month-on-month increase while other sectors stumble.
Posted on 14 April, 2022
Car spending bright spot for retail

Spending on motor vehicles bucked the trend of other retail sectors after it jumped $5 million, or 2.7 per cent, in March, when compared with the previous month’s activity.

The seasonally adjusted value of retail card spending for vehicles hit $206 million last month, up from $201m in February this year, according to a new report from Stats NZ. 

The latest figure for electronic cards also represented a $2m increase, or one per cent climb, from March 2021’s spend of $204m.

Overall, retail spending slipped $77m, or 1.3 per cent, between February and March after totalling $5.8 billion last month.

Only motor vehicles increased during that time frame, with durables unchanged and fuel dropping 0.1 per cent from $551m to $550m. Consumables and apparel suffered the most, with the former tumbling by $78m and 3.3 per cent, and the latter $20m, or 6.9 per cent.

In actual terms, cardholders made 143m transactions across all industries in March 2022, with an average value of $56 per transaction. The total amount spent using electronic cards was $8b.

For the March quarter, the seasonally adjusted amount spent on vehicles was down $3m, or 0.5 per cent, from the last three months of 2021.

Figures show $612m was splurged on cars compared with $615 in the December quarter. However, the total for the three months to the end of March was $14m, or 2.3 per cent, higher than in the same quarter of 2021.

Spending across all the retail industries over the March quarter increased $318m, or 1.9 per cent, from the previous quarter with the fuel sector leading the charge as it rose by $44m, or 2.7 per cent, to $1.7b.