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NZ retail spending rises 0.9% in 2nd-qtr

NZ retail spending rises 0.9% in 2nd-qtr as consumer confidence improves

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 25 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand retail spending grew at a faster pace than forecast in the June quarter as households feel more confident to hit the stores.

The total volume of retail spending grew a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in the three months ended June 30, according to Statistics New Zealand data, beating the 0.6% expansion picked in a Reuters survey of economists. Stripping out motor vehicle related spending, the core figure grew 1%.

The value of retail spending, which accounts for both sales volume growth and price hikes, climbed 1.7% in the quarter to $16.94 billion, and was 4.1% ahead of the same period a year ago. The value of core retailing grew 1.4% to $13.01 billion and is up 3.1% from June 2010.

Earlier this month, the ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey showed people are the most optimistic they’ve been for seven months, and today’s figures pick up on a growing trend of data showing New Zealand’s economic recovery is gathering pace ahead of expectations.

Of the 15 industries surveyed, 12 reported increased sales, led by a 4.9% increase in the value of spending on motor vehicles and car parts rose to $2.06 billion on a 4.2% increase in volumes. Supermarket and grocery store spending grew 1.6% to $4.25 billion on a lift in volume of 0.2%, and the value of electronic goods purchased climbed 7.2% to $679 million on a 10% gain in volumes.

The value of quarterly spending on fuel rose just 0.1% to $1.86 billion on a 4.1% decline in volume.

Spending on hardware, building and garden supplies fell 1.6% to $1.12 billion, non-store and commission-based retailing fell 4.7% to $210 million, and specialised food spending dropped 4.3% to $311 million.

Though the data set doesn’t drill into a regional level, it indicated spending on hardware, building and garden supplies and fuel grew significantly more in Christchurch.

Wellington reported the fastest growth at a regional level at 1.8%, followed by Canterbury at 1.2%. Auckland was the slowed at 0.2%.

Last week, Reserve Bank data showed total credit card billings grew 1% to a seasonally adjusted $2.47 billion in July compared to the same month a year ago for an annual pace of 7.3% growth.


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