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State’s credit, debit sales up


Associated Press

HONOLULU — Hawaii residents and visitors spent more money in the third quarter on convenience store items, insurance, furniture and other goods and services, according to the bank that handles most credit and debit transactions in the state.

First Hawaiian Bank says in its latest business activity report that sales were up 5.9 percent compared with the same three-month period one year ago.

Money was spent across all sectors besides retail, where spending dropped 1.3 percent to $86.9 million from July through September, bank officials said.

First Hawaiian said it processed nearly $760 million in transactions during the quarter, up from more than $717 million during the third quarter of 2012. The bank says it provides services to about 7,000 merchant locations in Hawaii, Guam and elsewhere, processing more than $4.3 billion in transactions in all of 2012.

Convenience stores saw the biggest spending jump at 12.9 percent, to $19 million, compared with $16.9 million during the third quarter of 2012.

Most credit and debit card spending came in the hotels sector, which took in $145.8 million, up 7 percent from $136.2 million in the third quarter last year.

First Hawaiian Bank Senior Vice President Keith Nagata said the biggest growth in spending besides convenience stores came in the insurance and home furnishings industries.

“Convenience stores have posted positive growth every quarter since 2010, and have consistently ranked in the top six,” Nagata said. “Both insurance and home furnishings posted their highest third-quarter increase in four years.”

Hawaii has seen 15 consecutive quarters of spending growth, according to the analysis.

Among other sectors that saw spending growth:

— Restaurant spending up 6.1 percent to $117.6 million.

— Utilities and communications spending up 5.8 percent to $56.9 million.

— Home improvement up 8.7 percent to $37.3 million.

— Travel spending up 2 percent to $36 million.

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia


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