• The attached note is an early release covering November online retail sales. Figures are provisional.
• NZ’s total online retail spending in November was 4% higher than a year ago. Recent months were stronger, running at 8% year-on-year growth.
• Spending at local online stores was up 10% on November last year. Most categories were up locally, with Food and Electronics very strong.
• In contrast, spending at offshore sites was down 3% on last November. November remains the peak month for purchases from overseas sites, but the rise from October wasn’t as large as we saw last year. Most categories were down on last year’s levels for offshore spending, with Clothing and Entertainment Media notable exceptions.
• With GST on online purchases from offshore sites widening from 1 December, we wondered if consumers would bring forward some December offshore shopping into November. However, the November spending figures did not show any obvious signs of this.
o It’s possible any GST-driven behaviour may have been masked by other effects, such as the weaker NZ dollar.
o But it’s also possible that NZ consumers missed the window for some GST savings on their Christmas shopping. Or perhaps the discounting at domestic stores in late November (eg Black Friday sales) was particularly compelling.