Kiwis increase spending by $270 million in a year

New Zealand’s January credit card spending has increased by $270 million, compared with the same period the previous year, with increases across every retail industry Statistics New Zealand measures.

Card spending has increased by 2.7% compared with December 2016, the largest increase in 10 years.

“The lift in retail card spending in January was across the board, from food and liquor to clothing, petrol, and cars, as well as a bounce back for furniture, hardware, and appliances,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.

Overall, card-holders made 133 million transactions across all industries in January, with an average value of $50. The total value of all transactions is $6.7 billion.

The biggest boost has come from Kiwis pumping cash into the durables industry, spending a total $37 million on furniture, hardware and appliances, compared with December 2016. This also follows a drop in sales for this industry over the past three months.

Overall credit card spending has inched back after a slump in October, with spending increasing by only 0.5% in this month.

The credit card annual/ongoing fee


Core retail spending has also seen a boost of 2.5% in January, following a 0.7% fall in December 2016 and a 0.4% drop in November 2016. Core retail spending excludes vehicle-related industries.

Card spending increases in Jan 2017 compared with December 2016:

  • durables, up $37 million (3.1 percent)
  • consumables, up $24 million (1.3 percent)
  • fuel, up$17 million (2.7 percent)
  • hospitality, up $16 million (1.7 percent)
  • apparel, up $8 million (2.5 percent)
  • vehicles (excluding fuel),up $4 million (2.6 percent).

Retail card spending has been increasing since Statistics New Zealand started the series in 2002. But the core retail trend has been “easing” over the past few months.

Statistics New Zealand only captures the data on a national level, so is unable to break it down further into any possible impacts of the 14 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

On 9 February, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced the cash rate will remain at 1.75%, with increased consumption contributing to an improved economic outlook for the country.

Every year, Canstar researches and rates credit cards, comparing them across fees, interest rates and benefits. Results of the 2017 credit cards star ratings are now available here.

Share this article