Decline in retail spending in October

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Retail spending has fallen in October with hardware and appliances taking a hit, as well as every day spending on food and drinks.

Statistics from Stats NZ show spending fell 0.6 percent last month.

"This dip in retail spending comes after four months of higher sales," says retail statistics manager Sue Chapman.

Spending fell across four of the six retail industries.

The biggest falls in October were seen for hardware, appliances, department stores, and pharmaceuticals and consumables groceries and liquor.

Durables fell $11 million or 0.8 per cent and consumables fell $11 million or 0.5 per cent.

“The falls in spending on longer-lasting goods and day-to-day food and liquor shows how variable these industries can be from month to month. However, compared with the year before, overall card spending has been fairly steady over the last year,” says Sue.

Core retail spending, excluding vehicle-related industries, fell 0.6 per cent in October, after a 0.4 per cent rise in September.

The total value of electronic card spending, including services and non-retail, fell 0.2 per cent in October, following a 0.6 per cent rise in September 2019.

The non-retail category includes travel, health, and wholesaling.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $5.8 billion, up 1.6 per cent or $89 million from October 2018.

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