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Retail sales up in June quarter


Thursday 25th August 2011

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Seasonally adjusted total retail sales values rose 1.7 percent in the June quarter, compared to the three months to March, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) says.

The increase was the result of a 0.9 percent increase in total sales volumes, combined with price rises across a number of industries.

The three months to June were the first full quarter since the devastating February 22 earthquake in Christchurch.

SNZ industry and labour statistics manager Kathy Connolly said information suggested actual sales in Christchurch had strengthened following the quake-affected March quarter.

While the survey was not designed to give a definite picture of sales movements below national level, the data made it clear the hardware, building, and garden supplies group and fuel had significantly larger rises in Christchurch than in the rest of New Zealand.

Compared with the rest of the country, department store sales were weaker in Christchurch, where about a third of all department stores remained closed.

In the June quarter the nationwide value of total retail sales was 4.1 percent ahead of a year earlier while volumes were up 1.1 percent.

The value of core retail sales, which exclude the two vehicle-related industries, rose 3.1 percent, while the volume of core retail sales lifted 1.9 percent.

The main increases in the June quarter volume figures, compared to the previous three months, included a 4.2 percent rise in motor vehicles and parts, a 10 percent lift in electrical and electronic goods, and a 4 percent rise in pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing, SNZ said.

The largest volume falls included fuel retailing down 4.1 percent, specialised food down 6.3 percent, and a 1.6 percent fall in the hardware, building, and garden supplies category.

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