Sharechat Logo

NZ retail sales growth slows in first quarter, missing estimates

Friday 13th May 2016

Text too small?

New Zealand first-quarter retail sales volumes rose at the slowest pace for three quarters, missing economist expectations.

The volume of retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in the three months through March from the December quarter, Statistics New Zealand said. That lags behind the 1 percent forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Retail sales volumes for the December quarter were revised lower to 1.1 percent from 1.2 percent. Core retail volumes, which excludes the more volatile vehicle-related industries, increased 1 percent in the March quarter, the agency said.

Some 11 of the 15 industries had higher sales volumes in the latest quarter, with the largest increased in electrical and electronic goods retailing, which grew 3.8 percent, online and commission-based retailing which gained 10 percent, food, and beverage services up 1.3 percent, and clothing, footwear and accessories ahead 1.7 percent. That was offset by a 3.8 percent decline in specialised food retailing and a 0.6 percent fall in liquor sales.

"Following solid gains through the latter part of 2015, retail spending growth eased off a bit in early 2016," Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Satish Ranchhod said in a note. "The moderation in retail sales growth in early 2016 isn’t too surprising. Late 2015 saw strong growth in spending on durable items such as hardware and furnishings, and it’s normal to subsequently see a bit of a softening."

Westpac's Ranchhod said the report highlighted that inflation in the economy remains subdued. 

On an unadjusted basis, the volume of retail spending rose 4.8 percent in the March quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2015. That's ahead of the 3.9 percent gain expected in the Reuters poll of economists.

The value of actual retail sales increased 4.7 percent to $20.16 billion.

Stripping out vehicle-related spending, the volume of core retail sales rose 4.7 percent, while the value gained 5.1 percent.

Retailers' inventories were 3 percent high at $7.23 billion at March 31 compared with the year earlier, with core retail stocks up 3.2 percent.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

NZ dollar trades near 2019 low on Aussie rate outlook, China worries
Short window left to lock in good interest rates on term deposits
MediaWorks breakeven stymied by radio
Loan-to-value restrictions effective but have some drawbacks - RBNZ
Yili deal a timely cash injection for Westland farmers - ANZ
AFT interested in medicinal cannabis but says it's not commercially viable yet
Serko chalks up another year of 28% sales growth, profit dips on acquisition adjustment
NZ first-quarter retail sales grow 0.7%, slightly better than expected
SkyCity poised to enter online gaming space
AFT narrows net loss, turns cash flow positive

IRG See IRG research reports