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Lull in retail spending for June

The volume of retail sales showed little change in the June 2019 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, the volume of total retail sales rose a modest 0.2 percent, after a 0.7 percent rise in the March 2019 quarter.

“We’ve seen relatively small changes in most of our retail industries this quarter,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

Electrical and electronic goods retailing had the largest rise, up 5.0 percent after increasing 0.3 percent in March.

The electrical and electronic goods industry, which includes retailing for electrical appliances, mobile phones, and computer and technical equipment, had shown consistent growth for over seven years, after a slight fall in March 2012.

Supermarket and grocery stores had the largest fall in the June 2019 quarter, down 0.9 percent after a 0.4 percent rise in March.

Fuel drives sale value rise

When the effects of price changes are included, total retail sales rose 0.7 percent ($170 million) in the June 2019 quarter, following a minimal 0.1 percent ($17 million) rise in the March quarter.

Fuel retailing boosted the total sales value this quarter, with the largest increase of 2.4 percent ($54 million). This quarter’s rise almost reversed the 1.9 percent ($42 million) fall in the March quarter, highlighting the effects of petrol and diesel price changes in the first half of this year.

“The fuel industry often provides volatile movements which are mainly reflective of the price changes,” Sue Chapman said.

The largest decreases in the June 2019 quarter were in supermarkets and grocery stores, down 0.5 percent ($26 million) and specialised food retailing, down 2.5 percent ($11 million).

In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $23.7 billion in the June 2019 quarter, up 3.4 percent ($782 million) from the June 2018 quarter.

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