Drop in card spending
Last month, the motor-vehicle industry was the only sector to record a drop in retail card spending - down $1.8 million, or one per cent, compared to March 2019.
When adjusted for seasonal effects, overall retail spending rose 0.6 per cent in April, after a 0.2 per cent dip in March. Retail spending has risen in three out of four months in 2019, after slipping in the last couple of months of 2018.
Retail card spending statistics covers all debit, credit, and charge card transactions with New Zealand-based merchants. It can be used to indicate changes in consumer spending and economic activity.
Spending rose across five of the six retail industries when compared to March 2019, with the motor-vehicle industry being the only sector to record a drop.
People spent more on groceries, eating out this April, after Easter and the school holidays coincided, according to Stats NZ's latest figures.
The increase in retail card spending in April coincided with the timing of Easter and the school holidays. Easter fell in the second half of April this year, but fell across March and April in 2018.
“Many employees took three days off to get a 10-day holiday over the Easter and Anzac Day period,” says retail statistics manager Sue Chapman. Retail sales increased despite the reduced trading hours in April.
In April, spending on eating out and staying away from home rose $6.3m on March, and spending on groceries rose $10m, or 0.5 per cent.