9 Aug 2013

Higher fuel prices push retail card spending up

1:56 pm on 9 August 2013

Higher fuel prices pushed up electronic-card retail spending in July, compared with the previous month.

Official figures show spending using debit, credit and charge cards rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in July, compared with the previous month.

Fuel prices rose sharply because of a fall in the New Zealand dollar and higher crude oil prices, but excluding fuel and vehicles, core retail sales declined 0.7%, led by durable goods and clothing. Purchases of clothing fell partly because it was the fourth warmest July on record.

Statistics New Zealand says it's the third successive month there has been a large monthly rise in fuel spending.

Economists say annual spending growth is at a robust 5%, underpinned by rising house prices and wages.