Card spending continues to increase as Covid restrictions ease

The busy Christmas period combined with easing COVID-19 restrictions helped to increase card spending in December 2021, Stats NZ said today.

After adjusting for seasonal effects, total credit and debit card spending in December 2021 increased by $157 million (1.9 percent) compared with November 2021.

MonthActualSeasonally adjusted
Dec-1972092060005868893000
Jan-2058914390005863384000
Feb-2056911400005900007000
Mar-2056514910005633398000
Apr-2028706080002965040000
May-2051882030005276258000
Jun-2057012300006089271000
Jul-2059689570006131819000
Aug-2054389970005708363000
Sep-2057344010006089326000
Oct-2062507220006085500000
Nov-2062560290006056558000
Dec-2074595260006025278000
Jan-2160056760005996061000
Feb-2153914440005844138000
Mar-2159373460005888449000
Apr-2159897110006158835000
May-2161297890006265182000
Jun-2159309140006316744000
Jul-2162521890006353683000
Aug-2148216250005109171000
Sep-2148780990005143373000
Oct-2157744300005673980000
Nov-2164369120006215594000
Dec-2177709840006239212000

“As COVID-19 restrictions eased in December across most of the country, New Zealanders had access to a wider range of products and services, such as hairdressers and personal care services, that they could spend their money on,” business performance manager Ricky Ho said.

Compared with last month, seasonally adjusted total retail card spending rose $24 million (0.4 percent), and spending on services increased by $47 million (16.6 percent).

Within the retail industries, the fuel industry had the highest increase from last month, rising $23 million (4.2 percent).

“The increase in spending on fuel is not surprising, as the easing of restrictions and opening of the Auckland border allowed more people to go on holiday over the Christmas break,” Mr Ho said.

“Though there has been an overall increase in spending from the last few months, we are still recovering from the effects of the latest lockdown.”

Spending on durables in December dropped $128 million (7.2 percent), likely due to higher spending in November which coincided with Black Friday sales.

Industry (ANZSIC06)%
Consumables-0.1
Durables-7.2
Apparel1.0
Motor Vehicles excl. fuel1.4
Fuel4.2
Non-retail excl. services0.9
Services16.6

In actual terms, total card spending was $9.8 billion, up $324 million (3.4 percent) from December 2020. Spending was up across all industries except for hospitality, which was down $82 million (6.9 percent).

The number of transactions across all industries in December 2021 was 168 million (down 5.5 percent from the same month in 2020), with an average value of $58 per transaction.

December 2021 quarter

Seasonally adjusted retail spending in the December 2021 quarter increased $1.2 billion (7.5 percent), with total spending increasing $1.4 billion (6.9 percent) from the September 2021 quarter. Spending in all categories increased compared with the September quarter, except for consumables.

“The September quarter was more heavily impacted by higher COVID-19 restrictions, so the increase in spending this quarter is not surprising. As restrictions eased throughout the country, more Kiwis were able to shop and spend more at a wider range of businesses in the lead-up to Christmas,” Mr Ho said.

Values are only available at the national level and are not adjusted for price changes.

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.