Retailers compare credit cards with cash purchases

Electrical and furniture retailer Gerry Harvey has noted a rise in cash purchases as consumers turn away from even low-rate credit cards.

"More customers are paying with cash and not using their credit cards as much," he tells The Australian.

However, he notes that cash sales have increased for products including computers, video games and televisions.

Mr Harvey notes that, if you compare credit cards and cash purchases in the first three months of 2009 with the same period a year earlier, there are encouraging signs.

Overall, a 3.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales was reported by the firm over the 12-month period.

In spite of his comments about the trend for cash payments, the Reserve Bank of Australia has witnessed an increase in credit card expenditure.

The Australian Associated Press reported figures from the Reserve Bank which showed a $500 million increase in credit card expenditure between January and February of this year.

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