NZ retail spending on electronic cards snaps 5 months of gains, falling 0.5 percent in March

New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards fell in March, snapping five months of gains, as Easter trimmed two trading days and kiwis spent less on durable goods and clothing.

Retail spending on credit, debit and charge cards fell 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, last month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Excluding fuel and vehicles, core retail spending fell 0.8 percent in March.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday atypically fell in March this year, forcing most retailers to close their doors on those days. Easter fell before April for the first time since 2008.

Spending on durable goods declined 1.8 percent and spending on clothing dropped 6.2 percent. By contrast, spending on fuel and hospitality rose 1.4 percent.

Actual transactions in core retail sales were up 2.8 percent from the same month in 2012.

Total card spending rose 1.2 percent. There were 112 million transactions last month, with an average value of $52, amounting to $5.8 million in unadjusted terms.

The figures come after Paymark, which processes 75 percent of the nation’s electronic transactions, this week reported that seasonally adjusted ex-fuel spending fell 1 percent in March from February, the first month-on-month decline since September 2012.

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