NZ retail sales rise 1.2% in second quarter, led by demand for vehicles
By Tina Morrison
Aug. 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the second quarter, as vehicle sales increased at the fastest pace in two years.
The volume of retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent in the three months through June, from an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in the first quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s more than the 1 percent expected in a Reuters poll of economists. Actual sales were up 3.8 percent in value from the same quarter a year earlier, better than the 3.4 percent estimate in the Reuters survey.
Retail sales are increasing amid upbeat consumer confidence in an expanding economy. The Reserve Bank last month said the economy is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 3.7 percent this year, from a 2.9 percent pace in 2013. The New Zealand dollar climbed to 84.85 US cents from 84.62 cents immediately before the numbers were released.
“The motor vehicle and parts retailing industry has driven this quarter’s increase in both sales volumes and values, recording their largest increases in two years,” Statistics New Zealand business indicators manager Neil Kelly said.
Eleven of the 15 industries had higher sales volumes in the second quarter. Motor vehicle and parts retailing recorded the largest volume increase, up 3.6 percent, as the sales value gained 2.9 percent and prices fell 0.7 percent, the agency said.
Other industries which posted large volume gains in the quarter included accommodation, up 6 percent, electrical and electronic goods retailing up 2.9 percent and food and beverage sales up 2.7 percent, Statistics NZ said.
The industries with the largest falls in the quarter were fuel, down 3.3 percent, and clothing, footwear and accessories retailing, down 2.2 percent, the agency said.
Excluding fuel and vehicle related spending, core retail sale volumes in the second quarter rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent, following a 1 percent rise in the first quarter.
Sales of motor vehicles, parts and fuel aren’t currently seasonally adjusted although the statistics agency said it may provide figures on this basis from the third quarter.