Kiwis flex the plastic as year ends

Last updated 11:22 11/12/2012

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Kiwis flexed the plastic and spent more on their cards at hardware, appliance and furniture stores as well as hotels, cafes and restaurants last month.

Statistics New Zealand said credit and eftpos card spending across the core retail categories rose a seasonally adjusted one per cent last month, compared to October.

All core retail categories, which excludes motor-vehicle related industries, saw a spending increase, but industry and labour statistics manager Tehseen Islam said most of the extra shopping was in durables and hospitality.

Card spending in durables, which includes furniture, hardware and appliance purchases, rose 1.6 per cent or $17 million last month.

Bars, cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers charged an extra $16m or 2.6 per cent to customers' cards.

Islam said the increase in core retail spending was the largest since January.

Card spending in total retail – including vehicle-related industries – lifted 0.5 per cent last month. Fuel was the only industry to fall off, by 0.8 per cent or $6m.

Total electronic card spending, including non-retail industries such as health and travel, increased 0.7 per cent last month.

Statistics said the trends for the total and total retail series had both generally been increasing since the series began in October 2002, but had weakened since the middle of this year. The core retail trend had also been increasing but had flattened off since June.

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