Credit and debit card usage hits $6.8b in December

New Zealanders put more on their credit and debit cards in the lead-up to Christmas, with the value of electronic card spending totalling $6.8 billion, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

The statistics body revealed that spending on credit and debit cards rose for the third consecutive month, up 0.3 per cent in December 2012 – equivalent to an increase of $21 million in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of each transaction averaged $56 and there were 122 million transactions made during the month.

Spending for all retail industries were up during this time, except for fuel, which saw the value of transactions drop 3.5 per cent month-on-month to $666 million. Shoppers spent the most on consumables including food and liquor, up 0.5 per cent during the month to $1.5 billion in December, followed by a 0.6 percentage point rise in durables such as furniture and cosmetics to just over $1 billion.