New Zealand: Electronic retail rises 1.2% in February, markets report

Tuesday, 08. March 2016 23:16

Stock market in Wellington traded in negative territory, taking in the wave of losses from the United States and Canada, where markets finished decidedly lower.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slid 0.18% to 6,438 points, and wider NZX All index edged down 0.17% to 6,912 points, the NZX Smallcap index added 0.06% by 11:14 NZT (22:14GMT, 11:14 p.m. CET).

The New Zealand dollar rose 0.06% against the U.K. sterling after Bank of England governor Mark Carney told Parliament that a move to leave the European Union could hurt the country's economy. The NZ kiwi was about 0.5% stronger compared to the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar, and strengthened 0.06% to its main counterpart Australian dollar by 11:14 NZT (22:14GMT, 11:14 p.m. CET).

Retail spending using electronic cards reached NZ$4.6 billion in February, up 9.3%, or NZ$393 million, compared to February 2015. The largest increases were from the consumables and hospitality industries, according to data from Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) published on Wednesday local time.

The largest changes in February were: consumables, up NZ$32 million or 1.8%, and hospitality up 1.6% or NZ$13 million, while fuel went down 2.1% or NZ$12 million.

Core retail spending, which excludes the vehicle-related industries, rose 1.2% in February, with increases for all four core retail industries.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries being services, and other non-retail, was fractionally down 0.1% in February, but follows a rise of 0.6% in January.

"As 2016 is a leap year, February had one more day than last year, so this needs to be taken into account when making comparisons," business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said.

Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have been rising since October 2002, said the SNZ press release.

Image: Wellington Stock Exchange/Wikimedia Commons

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Breaking the News / ZR