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Electronic Card Transactions: March 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  11 April 2017
Commentary

All figures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Seasonally adjusted figures are subject to revision each month, and monthly movements can fluctuate.

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

March 2017 quarter 

Spending in the retail industries rose $254 million (1.7 percent) in the March 2017 quarter, after a $226 million (1.5 percent) rise in the December 2016 quarter.

Spending rose in five of the six retail industries in the March quarter. The largest rise came from the fuel industry, up $126 million (7.0 percent). 

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose $154 million (1.2 percent) in the March 2017 quarter, after a $129 million (1.0 percent) rise in the December 2016 quarter.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services and other non-retail), rose $257 million (1.3 percent) in the March 2017 quarter. This follows a $260 million (1.3 percent) rise in the December 2016 quarter.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $15.1 billion in the March 2017 quarter, up $669 million (4.6 percent) from the March 2016 quarter.

March 2017 month

In the retail industries, the value of electronic card spending fell 0.3 percent in March 2017, following a 0.6 percent fall in February 2017.

Three of the six retail industries fell in March 2017. The movements were:

  • fuel, down $12 million (1.9 percent)  
  • consumables, down $4 million (0.2 percent)
  • durables, down $3 million (0.3 percent)
  • hospitality, up $1 million (0.1 percent)
  • apparel, up $2 million (0.8 percent)
  • vehicles (excluding fuel), up $3 million (1.5 percent).

 Graph, Change to seasonally adjusted card transaction values by industry, Change from the February 2017 month

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) fell 0.1 percent in March 2017, after a 0.7 percent fall in February 2017.

The non-retail (excluding services) industry rose $8 million (0.6 percent) and the services industry was up $3 million (1.1 percent).

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services and other non-retail), rose 0.5 percent in March 2017. This follows a 0.7 percent fall in February 2017.

Graph, Value of eclectronic card retail transactions, Monthly, From March 2011 to March 2017

Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have generally been rising since these series began in October 2002.

In actual terms, card-holders made 143 million transactions across all industries in March 2017, with an average value of $49. The total amount spent across all transactions was $7 billion.

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

Imputation of missing data

As outlined in Electronic Card Transactions: January 2016, Stats NZ has imputed for some missing data for the durables industry. We are currently reviewing this methodology.

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