Satish Ranchhod, senior economist at Westpac, notes that New Zealand’s retail card spending fell by 0.8% in December (close to Westpac’s forecast) and it followed a very large increase in November when spending was boosted by the growing prevalence of international sales events.
“December’s fall in retail sales does not signal weakness in household spending. It follows a very large increase in November, when sales were boosted by the growing prevalence of global sales events like Single’s Day and Black Friday in the New Zealand marketplace. That saw many households’ bringing purchases forward from the traditional December shopping period.”
“Taking a longer term perspective, we’re actually seeing a very positive picture for spending by New Zealanders. In fact, over the past 12 months, retail spending levels are up 4%.”
“Taking a closer look at the December result, the drop in spending was centred on household durable goods, like furnishings. That’s the same category that rose strongly in November. Other categories, like consumables and hospitality, actually saw continued increases in December.”
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