New data released by Statistics New Zealand today has revealed retail card spending has rapidly increased in the past quarter-year but high petrol prices aren't the main cause.
When adjusted for seasonal effects, the statistics show retail card spending was up 2.3 per cent in the September 2018 quarter - the largest percentage rise since the December 2010 quarter.
Spending rose in all six retail industries in the latest quarter.
The largest rise came from the consumables industry (grocery and liquor retailing), which was up $140 million (2.4 per cent).
The second largest rise came from the fuel industry, up $65 million (3.4 per cent).
Retail statistics manager Sue Chapman says the lift comes after a "slight dip" in the June 2018 quarter.
"The fuel industry rise coincided with rising petrol prices," Ms Chapman said.
"Petrol prices rose to record levels, up more than 15 cents a litre by the end of September and more in Auckland after the regional fuel tax was introduced."
Compared to the September 2017 quarter, was up $773 million (5.2 per cent) to $16 billion.