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Fuel drives sales values up in September

Fuel drives sales values up in September – Media release

26 November 2018

Retail fuel sales rose 7.0 percent ($150 million) in the September 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

This dominated the 0.6 percent ($153 million) rise in the seasonally adjusted value of total retail sales, including price changes.

“The notable increase in the value of fuel sales coincided with the start of the Auckland regional fuel tax and record pump prices,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“However, the rise in fuel sales was offset by falls in the food and beverage and the vehicle industries this quarter.”

Nine of the 15 retail industries had higher sales values in the September 2018 quarter.

Of the six retail industries that fell in the latest quarter, the food and beverage services recorded the largest fall (down 2.4 percent), followed by motor-vehicle and parts retailing (down 1.7 percent).

In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $22.8 billion in the September 2018 quarter, up 4.0 percent ($870 million) from the September 2017 quarter.

Retail sales volumes flat

A lull in spending saw total retail sales volumes remain quite flat for the September 2018 quarter.

After adjusting for seasonal effects and removing the impact of price changes, the total retail sales volume was relatively unchanged from the June 2018 quarter, which had a strong 1.1 percent rise. Department stores had the largest increase, up 7.4 percent from the June quarter.

“The boost in department stores was partly due to structural and reporting changes in the Warehouse Group that became effective during the quarter,” Ms Chapman said.

“This didn’t affect either the total retail series, or the core retail series, as activity was consolidated into one retail industry.”

“Some sales now recorded in department stores had previously been recorded in the ‘pharmaceutical and other stores’ industry.”


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