September card spending edges up as Covid alert level changes

Retail card spending edged up 0.9 percent in September compared with August, as COVID-19 alert levels eased from level 3 to level 2, except in Auckland, Stats NZ said today.

“Card sales remained low in September, as Auckland was in COVID-19 alert level 4, before dropping to alert level 3 towards the end of the month,” business performance manager Ricky Ho said.

Seasonally adjusted retail spending was up $45 million (0.9 percent), and total spending was up $104 million (1.6 percent) in September 2021, compared with August 2021.

MonthActualSeasonally adjusted
Sep-1953455360005710131000
Oct-1957695640005700463000
Nov-1961712220005851983000
Dec-1972092060005866659000
Jan-2058914390005868040000
Feb-2056911400005900301000
Mar-2056514910005629329000
Apr-2028706080002966836000
May-2051882030005274055000
Jun-2057012300006090372000
Jul-2059689570006138557000
Aug-2054389970005709118000
Sep-2057344010006084201000
Oct-2062507220006089774000
Nov-2062560290006051475000
Dec-2074595260006024437000
Jan-2160056760005993883000
Feb-2153914440005845492000
Mar-2159373460005887151000
Apr-2159897110006161878000
May-2161297890006266558000
Jun-2159309140006315748000
Jul-2162521890006358774000
Aug-2148216250005104269000
Sep-2148780990005148965000

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose in three of the six retail industries in September 2021, with higher sales of durable goods (such as furniture, hardware, and appliances) driving the increase, up $193 million (17.5 percent).

Seasonally adjusted spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) had the largest fall, down $83 million (3.3 percent) from August 2021.

“This fall comes on the back of high groceries spending in August, as supermarkets are an essential service that stay open throughout the lockdowns,” Mr Ho said.

September 2021 quarter

In the September quarter, seasonally adjusted retail spending decreased by $2.1 billion (11.6 percent), and total spending was down $3.1 billion (13.4 percent) compared with the June 2021 quarter.

“With New Zealand moving into varying alert levels over the last quarter, card spending saw a drop, but spending on groceries increased,” Mr Ho said.

“The drop in total card spending this quarter is smaller than the drop in the June 2020 quarter, when the country was under alert level 4 lockdown for almost the entire month of April 2020.”

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

Electronic card transaction data covers the use of credit or debit cards in shops or online, and includes both the retail and services industries.

/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.