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Electronic Card Transactions: April 2009
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  11 May 2009
Key facts

These statistics are based on electronic card transactions during April 2009. Figures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise stated. See the technical notes for industry descriptors.

Changes in the value of transactions (compared with March 2009) were as follows:
  • Total electronic card transactions were up 0.7 percent.
  • Transactions in the retail industries were up 0.3 percent.
  • Core retail (which excludes the motor vehicle-related industries) was up 0.5 percent.
  • By industry group, consumables and non-retail were up; apparel and automotive fuel retailing were down; the remaining industries were flat.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) value of transactions in the core retail industries was up 3.8 percent from April 2008.

The seasonally adjusted value of electronic card spending increased in April 2009, with the total, retail, and core retail series all up from March 2009. The consumables industry was the main contributor to all these increases.

The total value of transactions was up 0.7 percent in April. The non-retail industry was the second-largest contributor to the rise. Offsetting falls came from the apparel, and automotive fuel retailing industries. After declines in late 2008, latest figures indicate the sales trend for total transactions has been rising in 2009.

In the retail industries, the value of transactions was up 0.3 percent, the third consecutive monthly increase. The retail trend series also declined in late 2008 but latest figures indicate small increases since a low point in January 2009.

Transactions in core retail were up 0.5 percent, following a 0.8 percent increase in March 2009. Having increased almost continuously since the series began, the sales trend for core retail flattened between November 2008 and February 2009. Latest figures suggest it has picked up again in the last two months.

The year ending April 2009 saw the biggest annual drop in credit card usage as a proportion of the total value of transactions (and a corresponding rise in debit card usage) since the series began. Credit cards accounted for 45.6 percent of transactions, down from 46.6 percent in the year ended April 2008.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
11 May 2009
ISSN 1178-0258
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