By Sophie Boot
New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards fell in December, led by a decline in purchases of durable goods, in a month when consumer confidence dipped.
Spending on core retail, which encompasses consumables, durables, hospitality and apparel, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent to $4.02 billion in December, Statistics New Zealand said.
Included in this was and auto-related items, retail spending fell 0.2 percent.
"Retail spending has trucked along at a solid pace over the course of the last year, supported by strong growth in house prices, a large net inflow of migrants, and solid tourist spending," Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Anne Boniface said.
Card spending on durables, an industry which encompasses furniture, hardware and appliance retailing, fell 1.8 percent to $1.1b.
Consumer confidence slipped in December according to an ANZ-Roy Morgan survey, which cited an uncertain economic outlook tempering optimism.
Earlier this month, payments firm Paymark said December activity showed strong growth, with the number of transactions up 8.2 percent from a year earlier.
Thursday's data show the number of transactions rose 6.2 percent in December to 143 million from the same month a year earlier, while the value of total spending, which includes services and non-retail industries, gained 5.6 percent to $7.73b.
Spending on consumable items increased 0.2 percent to $1.73b in the month, while hospitality purchases grew 1.6 percent to $854 million and apparel spending advanced 0.4 percent to $310m.
Fuel purchases rose 0.4 percent to $596m in December, and were down 1.2 percent from the same month a year earlier.
In December 54.3 percent of transactions were made on debit cards, and 45.7 percent on credit; compared to debit making up 55.6 percent of transactions, and credit 44.4 percent a year earlier.