Fast Facts

Record rise in grocery and liquor spending

Consumers spent more on grocery and liquor (consumables) in March 2018, as retail card spending in the industry rose a record $57 million (2.9 percent), Stats NZ said. This follows a 0.7 percent fall in February 2018.

The lift in groceries and liquor in March 2018 contributed to the rise in total retail card spending in the month, up 1.0 percent, when adjusted for seasonal effects.

“Despite losing a trading day to Good Friday, retail card spending rose in March 2018,” retail manager Sue Chapman said. “The rise was driven by an increase in spending on grocery and liquor retailing, rebounding from a fall in the previous month.”

The dip in February 2018 may reflect people hunkering down during two large storms, which hit several parts of the country during the month.

Spending rose across three of the six retail industries. The largest movements were:

  • consumables, including grocery and liquor retailing, up $57 million (2.9 percent)
  • durables, including hardware, furniture, and appliances, up $15 million (1.2 percent)
  • hospitality, including accommodation, bars, cafes, and restaurants, up $14 million (1.4 percent).

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 1.6 percent in March 2018, after a relatively flat February 2018, up 0.1 percent.

Actual retail spending using electronic cards was $5.5 billion in March 2018, up $315 million (6.0 percent) from March 2017.

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

Source: Stats NZ

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