Shopping using debit and credit cards in New Zealand decreased during March 2013, after five months of increases, Statistics New Zealand said today.
When adjusted for seasonal effects, the value of electronic card spending in the retail industries decreased 0.5 percent in March.
"Because Good Friday and Easter Sunday were in March this year, instead of April, there were two fewer trading days than during a typical March month," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.
"Most of the decrease this month came from core retail industries, with durables and apparel responsible for the bulk of it."
The durables industry includes retailers dealing in furniture; hardware and appliances; and pharmacy, cosmetic, and toiletry items. Apparel industry includes retailers dealing in clothing, soft-goods, and footwear.
Core retail (which excludes the motor vehicle-related industries) spending decreased 0.8 percent in March 2013.
Total retail and core retail spending trends remain positive, although the rate of increase has weakened in recent months.
The total value of electronic card spending decreased 1.2 percent in March 2013.
The trend for total card spending has flattened. It has generally been growing since early 2009.
Trend estimates may be revised as new months are added to the series.
In actual (unadjusted) terms, there were 112 million transactions in March 2013, with an average value of $52. The total amount spent across all transactions was $5.8 billion.
Electronic Card Transactions: March 2013 – Information release