Fast Facts

Card spending on grocery and liquor strong in the March 2018 quarter

Consumer spending on groceries and liquor rose at its fastest pace in more than seven years in the March 2018 quarter, up 2.2 percent, Stats NZ said.

Total retail card spending was up 1.8 percent in the March 2018 quarter when adjusted for seasonal effects, after a 1.5 percent rise in the December 2017 quarter.

Spending rose across all six of the retail industries in the March 2018 quarter. The largest rises came from the consumables (grocery and liquor retailing) industry, up $125 million (2.2 percent) and the hospitality industry, up $87 million (2.9 percent).

“The rise in retail card spending in the March 2018 quarter was driven by an increase in grocery and liquor spending,” retail manager Sue Chapman said. “This was the largest increase in grocery and liquor retailing since December 2010 and coincided with a record increase in spending in March 2018.

The higher quarterly retail spending also came at the same time as high international visitor arrivals in the January 2018 and February 2018 months,” Ms. Chapman said.

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 2.0 percent in the March 2018 quarter, after a 0.9 percent rise in the December 2017 quarter.

In actual terms, retail card spending was $16 billion in the March 2018 quarter up $649 million (4.3 percent) from the March 2017 quarter.

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

Source: Stats NZ

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