WELLINGTON, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand consumers spent more on essentials such as fuel and groceries in July, which contributed to a 0.7-percent rise in total retail card spending in the month, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
"With a third consecutive monthly rise of around 0.7 percent, we have seen steady growth in retail card spending after the dip in April," acting retail manager Kathy Hicks said in a statement, adding the latest monthly rise mainly reflects spending on the household essentials such as fuel and groceries.
"The rise in fuel spending was driven by higher petrol and diesel prices," Hicks said, adding this lift also coincided with the introduction of the Auckland regional fuel tax, which came into effect on July 1.
Card spending rose in four of the six retail industries, with the largest movements being fuel, consumables including grocery and liquor, and hospitality, she said.
Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle-related industries, rose 0.3 percent in July, following a 0.6-percent rise in June, statistics show.
Actual retail spending using electronic cards was 5.2 billion NZ dollars (3.4 billion U.S. dollars) in July, up 4.5 percent from July 2017, Stats NZ said.