Spending strong in November

Retail card sales bounced back strongly in November 2019, with much more spent on long-lasting goods such as recreational, hardware, and appliances, as well as food and drink, Stats NZ said today.

Total retail card spending was up 2.6 percent in November, when adjusted for seasonal effects. This is the largest increase since January 2017 when spending was up 3.6 percent, though sales have generally been flat this calendar year.

Month Percent
Nov-16 -0.4
Dec-16 0.7
Jan-17 3.6
Feb-17 -0.8
Mar-17 0.0
Apr-17 0.9
May-17 0.1
Jun-17 -0.1
Jul-17 0.0
Aug-17 0.3
Sep-17 0.1
Oct-17 1.2
Nov-17 1.1
Dec-17 0.4
Jan-18 0.7
Feb-18 -0.5
Mar-18 1.7
Apr-18 -2.1
May-18 1.1
Jun-18 0.8
Jul-18 0.5
Aug-18 0.9
Sep-18 0.9
Oct-18 0.3
Nov-18 -0.8
Dec-18 -1.4
Jan-19 1.6
Feb-19 0.0
Mar-19 0.0
Apr-19 0.8
May-19 -0.6
Jun-19 0.3
Jul-19 -0.1
Aug-19 1.3
Sep-19 0.4
Oct-19 -0.5
Nov-19 2.6

“The lift in November sales coincided with Singles Day and Black Friday sales promotions by retailers during the month,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“Black Friday has become a more popular sales period in recent years, though monthly retail sales typically peak in December.”

Spending rose across all six of the retail industries when compared with October 2019.

The largest increase came from the durables industry, up $77 million (5.4 percent).

“This increase in spending in hardware and department stores (durables) comes on the back of a recent lull in September and October,” Ms Chapman said.

Spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) was up $29 million (1.4 percent), after a small dip in October.

Industry $
Durables 76946000
Consumables 28586000
Hospitality 15148000
Apparel 5637000
Fuel 5248000
Vehicles (excluding fuel) 2557000
Services 5533000
Non-retail (excluding services) -35833000

Core retail spending which excludes spending on fuel and vehicles rose 2.6 percent in November, after a 0.5 percent fall in October.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and non-retail), rose 1.0 percent ($83 million) in November, following a 0.2 percent drop in October.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $6.2 billion, up 5.1 percent ($297 million) from November 2018.

/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.