New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards fell in November, snapping two consecutive months of gains, amid disruption from the Kaikoura earthquake.

Retail spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent last month, after a 0.6 percent gain in October and a 2.1 percent rise in September, Statistics New Zealand said. Actual retail spending climbed 5.1 percent to $5.2 billion in November from the same month a year earlier, the agency said.

Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related industries, dropped 0.4 percent in November from October, with apparel spending down 3.2 percent, its biggest monthly drop since a 3.5 percent decline in July 2013. Spending on durables fell 0.7 percent, and hospitality dropped 0.3 percent, while consumable spending bucked the trend, up 0.8 percent. The statistics agency said it wasn't yet sure how sales may have been affected by the Nov. 14 Kaikoura earthquake, which caused ongoing disruption in central Wellington.

"Spending growth took a small step back in November, but given the month contained the North Canterbury earthquake, this is no great surprise," ASB economist Daniel Snowden said in a note. "As well as spending being directly impacted in the quake-affected areas, there is also potential for distribution disruption, impacting spending in non-quake impacted areas."

ASB's Snowden said he expected future spending growth to remain firm, supported by high net migration, recovering dairy prices and record low interest rates.

Of the non-retail industries, non-retail excluding services fell 1.4 percent from October while spending in the services industry declined 2.3 percent.

Spending on fuel rose 2.5 percent, while vehicle spending slipped 2.8 percent.

In actual terms, card-holders made 138 million transactions in November with an average value of $50. The total amount spent was $6.9 billion.

 

SOURCE: www.sharechat.co.nz