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NZD Credit Card Spending Falls by 0.7% in October

New Zealand Credit Card Annual Analysis and Retail Activity

In October 2023, NZD Credit Card Spending experienced a 0.7% decrease in electronic card transactions compared to the previous month. Thus, amounting to NZD 2,621 million. This decline notably affected various retail sectors.

NZD Credit Card Spending Sectoral Impact

The drop in spending was primarily noticeable in specific retail industries. Apparel sales saw a decrease of 2.1% compared to September’s 3.5% decline. Similarly, durables experienced a 1.1% drop compared to the previous 1.4%. In the consumables sector, a minor decline of 0.3% was recorded in contrast to a 0.2% decrease in the preceding month.

NZD Credit Card Spending Sectoral Impact

However, amid these declines, there were sectors that witnessed an increase in spending. Motor vehicles, excluding fuel, displayed a 0.7% rise in contrast to a 1.2% decrease earlier. Additionally, fuel purchases saw a 0.4% increase, bouncing back from a 1.1% decline.

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Annual Analysis and Retail Activity

Analyzing the annual data, electronic card transactions showed a 2% surge in October, following a 1.6% rise in the preceding month. These transactions cover approximately 68% of core retail sales in New Zealand, providing a crucial snapshot of the country’s monthly retail activity.

NZD Credit Card Spending Annual Analysis and Retail Activity
New Zealand Credit Card Annual Analysis and Retail Activity

Credit card spending in New Zealand remains a pivotal indicator closely tied to consumer behavior and overall market confidence.

NZD Credit Card Spending maintained its strength

In October-23, domestic billings in New Zealand witnessed a decline of 1.8% from the previous month, recording $3.9 billion compared to $4.0 billion in September-23. Concurrently, overseas billings on New Zealand issued cards remained stable at $0.6 billion, with a notable yearly increase of 15.1%. Meanwhile, billings on overseas issued cards used in New Zealand saw a $50 million rise (10.3%) from September-23 to $0.5 billion1, marking a 10.5% increase from October-22.

NZD Credit Card Spending Annual Analysis and Retail Activity
New Zealand Credit Card Annual Analysis and Retail Activity

Regarding credit limits, October-23 observed a decrease to $21.1 billion, standing 0.9% lower than October-22 and marking the lowest value since March 2015, mirroring the same figure of $21.1 billion. Analyzing personal advances, there was a slight increase in the proportion of interest-bearing advances from 52.6% in August-23 to 52.7% in September-23 (lagged by one month). The weighted average interest rate on these advances also saw a minor uptick, rising from 19.2% in August-23 to 19.3% in September-23 (lagged by one month).

Stay informed with these key insights into New Zealand’s economic landscape for October 2023, encompassing varied fluctuations across sectors and indicating shifts in consumer behavior and financial patterns.


The dip in electronic card transactions, especially in sectors like apparel, durables, and consumables, signals a shift in consumer spending patterns. On the other hand, the uptick in spending on motor vehicles and fuel indicates fluctuations in specific market segments.

The increase in annual electronic card transactions reflects an overall positive trend, although sectoral variations underscore the nuanced nature of consumer behavior in New Zealand.


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