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Dining out and grocery sales lift retail in December quarter

New Zealanders spent more eating and drinking away from home in the December 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, total retail sales volumes rose 1.7 percent. This quarter's rise followed a 0.3 percent increase in the September 2017 quarter.

"Food and beverage services led this quarter’s retail increases," retail trade manager Sue Chapman said. "But people were not just eating out, they also spent more on groceries in the December quarter.”

Shoppers bought more from 11 of the 15 retail industries. The largest rises were food and beverage services (up 3.7 percent), motor vehicle and parts retailing (up 2.1 percent), and supermarket and grocery stores (up 1.4 percent). Accommodation had the largest decrease (down 2.3 percent).

Retail sales values lifted by food and beverage services and grocery stores

When the effects of price changes are included, total retail sales values rose 1.9 percent ($444 million) in the December 2017 quarter. This quarters' rise follows a modest 0.4 percent ($86 million) rise in the September 2017 quarter and a 1.5 percent ($340 million) rise in the June 2017 quarter.

Of the 15 retail industries, 13 rose and only two had lower sales in the December quarter.

Food and beverage services (up 4.1 percent or $114 million) and supermarket and grocery stores (up 1.5 percent or $76 million) led the increases.

In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $25.2 billion in the December 2017 quarter, up 6.3 percent ($1.5 billion) from the December 2016 quarter.


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