WELLINGTON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Retail card spending edged up 0.9 percent in September compared with August in New Zealand, as COVID-19 alert levels eased from level 3 to level 2, except in the largest city Auckland, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.
"Card sales remained low in September, as Auckland was in COVID-19 alert level 4, before dropping to alert level 3 towards the end of the month," business performance manager Ricky Ho said in a statement.
Retail spending was up 45 million New Zealand dollars (31.2 million U.S. dollars), or 0.9 percent, and total spending was up 104 million NZ dollars (72.2 million U.S. dollars), or 1.6 percent in September 2021, compared with August 2021.
Card spending rose in three of the six retail industries in September, with higher sales of durable goods such as furniture, hardware and appliances driving the increase, up 17.5 percent, Ho said.
Spending on groceries and liquor had the largest fall, down 3.3 percent from August, he said.
"This fall comes on the back of high groceries spending in August, as supermarkets are an essential service that stay open throughout the lockdowns," Ho said.
With New Zealand moving into varying alert levels over the last quarter, card spending saw a drop, but spending on groceries increased, he said.
Electronic card transaction data covers the use of credit or debit cards in shops or online, and includes both the retail and services industries, according to Stats NZ.