9 Nov 2011

Rugby World Cup boosts October card spending

1:06 pm on 9 November 2011

Spending using electronic cards rose last month, boosted by the Rugby World Cup.

Statistics New Zealand figures show the value of retail spending using debit, credit and charge cards rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.5% to $4.1 billion in October.

The increase is the largest monthly rise since April and follows a 0.7% increase in September.

Statistics New Zealand says it appears the Rugby World Cup and the later than normal school holidays boosted spending.

The strongest gain was for non-retail items such as travel and health. Spending on those rose 2.5%.

Spending on fuel jumped by 4% during the month, possibly due to rugby fans filling up their cars and motorhomes to travel to matches.

Clothing sales jumped by almost 5%.

On an annual basis, sales are 6.9% higher than a year ago.

ANZ economist Mark Smith says the pick-up was stronger than expected.