Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

www.stats.govt.nz

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Retail Trade Survey: December 2011 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  15 February 2012
Commentary

Largest-ever rise in core retail sales volumes
Core retail sales values rise strongly for second consecutive quarter
Trend for sales volumes and values strengthen
Mixed results in the vehicle-related industries
Supermarket and grocery store sales volumes up again
Record increase in department sales volumes
Electrical and electronic goods record largest-ever increases in sales volumes and values
Actual sales volumes and values up on last year
Record increase in North Island sales
South Island sales rise slightly
Sales value trends continue to rise across all regions
Christchurch retail trade indicator
Actual value of stocks up slightly on December 2010

All values are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise stated.

Largest-ever rise in core retail sales volumes

In the December 2011 quarter, sales volumes for core retailing (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) had its largest seasonally adjusted increase since the series began in 1995, rising 2.9 percent. This follows another strong increase in the September 2011 quarter (up 2.6 percent, the third-largest increase since the series began).

When the vehicle-related industries are included, total retail volumes rose 2.2 percent.

Thirteen of the 15 industries recorded increased sales volumes in the December 2011 quarter.

The industries driving the December quarter increase were:

  • supermarket and grocery stores, up 1.8 percent
  • electrical and electronic goods, up 10 percent
  • fuel, up 4.8 percent
  • department stores, up 7.2 percent.

The only industries to record decreases were:

  • motor vehicle and parts, down 3.9 percent
  • recreational goods, down 1.4 percent.

Graph, Retail industry contributions to the change in seasonally adjusted sales volumes, change from September 2011 quarter.

Core retail sales values rise strongly for second consecutive quarter

Sales values for core retailing (which excludes the two vehicle-related industries) increased strongly for the second consecutive quarter, up 2.3 percent ($302 million) in the December 2011 quarter. Seasonally adjusted total retail sales values rose 2.0 percent ($345 million), the fourth consecutive quarter of strong growth.

The main contributors to the increase in total retail sales values were:

  • fuel, up 6.4 percent ($116 million)
  • supermarket and grocery stores, up 1.3 percent ($58 million)
  • food and beverage services, up 3.0 percent ($51 million)
  • department stores, up 5.6 percent ($50 million).

The only significant offsetting decrease was recorded in:

  • motor vehicle and parts retailing, down 3.4 percent ($73 million).

Graph, Retail industry contributions to the change in seasonally adjusted sales values, change from September 2011 quarter.

Trends for sales volumes and values strengthen

The trend for core retail sales volumes has been rising since March 2009, up 11 percent since then, and has strengthened in the last two quarters. The trend for total sales volumes has been generally rising since June 2009, up 9.3 percent, and has also strengthened in the latest two quarters.

Graph, Retail sales volumes, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

The trends for sales values follow a similar pattern, with the core series rising 14 percent since September 2008, and strengthening in the latest two quarters. The total sales value series has risen 15 percent since March 2009, also strengthening in recent quarters.

Graph, Retail sales values, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

Mixed results in the vehicle-related industries

Note: These two industries are not seasonally adjusted as they do not currently show a reliable seasonal pattern.

The volume of fuel retailing sales rose 4.8 percent, and made one of the largest contributions to this quarter’s total increase in sales volumes. Fuel retailing prices increased 1.6 percent this quarter, resulting in a 6.4 percent ($116 million) increase in the value of fuel sales.

Conversely, the volume of motor vehicle sales fell 3.9 percent – the largest decrease of any industry. A slight price rise (0.5 percent) partly offset the fall in volumes, resulting in a 3.4 percent ($73 million) fall in sales values.

Graph, Actual fuel sales volumes, quarterly, December 2007 to December 2011. Graph, Actual motor vehicle and parts sales volumes, quarterly, December 2007 to December 2011.

The sales volume trends for both of the vehicle-related industries have been rising lately, but the current levels of the trends are still well below their peaks in late 2007.

The sales value trend for fuel retailing has been generally rising since June 2009, following a large price decrease in late 2008. The trend is now just 2.5 percent below its peak in June 2008.

The sales value trend for motor vehicle and parts retailing has been generally rising since March 2009, following a large decrease that occurred mostly in 2008. The level of the trend has risen back to just 3.3 percent below its September 2007 high.

Supermarket and grocery store sales volumes up again

The volume of supermarket and grocery store sales rose 1.8 percent in the December 2011 quarter. This follows a large 3.9 percent increase in the September 2011 quarter.

Supermarket and grocery store prices fell 1.9 percent in actual terms (prices are not seasonally adjusted), the largest decrease ever recorded for a December quarter.

Once these price effects are included, the value of sales rose 1.3 percent ($58 million). This follows a large (3.9 percent or $165 million) rise in the September 2011 quarter.

Graph, Supermarket and grocery stores sales volumes, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

The trend for supermarket and grocery store sales volumes has been rising since June 2010, and has strengthened over the past few quarters. The trend for supermarket and grocery store sales values has risen 14 percent since March 2010, following a slight decrease.

Record increase in department store sales volumes

The volume of department store sales had its largest increase since the series began in 1995, up 7.2 percent. This increase was boosted by the re-opening of two major Christchurch department stores during the quarter.

Department store prices fell 1.6 percent in actual terms (prices are not seasonally adjusted).

When price effects are included, the value of department store sales was up 5.6 percent ($50 million) – the largest quarterly increase since the series began.

Graph, Department stores sales volumes, quarterly, December 2006 to December 2011.

The trend for department store sales volumes has been rising strongly since March 2011, following a slight decrease over the preceding three quarters.

The trend for department store sales values has also been increasing since March 2011, up 6.0 percent, following a period of general decline that began in September 2008.

Electrical and electronic goods record largest-ever increases in sales volumes and values

The volume of electrical and electronic goods sales was up 10 percent in the December 2011 quarter, the largest increase since the series began in 1995.

Electrical and electronic goods prices fell 3.2 percent in actual terms (prices are not seasonally adjusted).

When price effects are included, the value of electrical and electronic goods sales rose 7.2 percent ($48 million), the largest increase since the series began in 1995. Some respondents commented that smartphone sales had a positive impact.

Graph, Electrical and electronic goods sales volumes, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

The trend for electrical and electronic goods sales volumes has been rising since a slight decrease in the December 2007 quarter, up 69 percent since then.

The trend for electrical and electronic goods sales values has risen 13 percent since a slight decrease in December 2010.

Actual sales volumes and values up on last year

In the December 2011 quarter compared with the December 2010 quarter:

  • the volume of total actual retail sales rose 6.6 percent
  • the value of total actual retail sales rose 8.0 percent
  • the volume of core actual retail sales rose 7.5 percent
  • the value of core actual retail sales rose 7.6 percent.

Record increase in North Island sales

Note: The Retail Trade Survey is designed at a national level. Caution should be used when interpreting regional level figures.

Seasonally adjusted sales values in the North Island rose by a record 3.0 percent ($390 million) in the December 2011 quarter. This is the largest increase since this series began in 2003.

Sales in parts of the North Island are likely to have been affected by the Rugby World Cup, where all eight of the knockout-stage games were played during October. A delay in the timing of school holidays (from September to October) is also likely to have increased sales this quarter.

Graph, North Island sales values, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

The increase was a result of:

  • Auckland sales rising 2.7 percent ($158 million)
  • Waikato sales rising 9.6 percent ($154 million)
  • Wellington sales rising 3.8 percent ($71 million)
  • remainder of the North Island sales rising 0.2 percent ($6 million).

South Island sales rise slightly

Note: The Retail Trade Survey is designed at a national level. Caution should be used when interpreting regional level figures. 

Seasonally adjusted sales values rose slightly in the South Island, up 0.6 percent ($24 million) in the December 2011 quarter. This follows two quarters of strong increases.

Like the North Island, South Island sales are likely to have been boosted by the delay in the timing of school holidays.

Graph, South Island sales values, quarterly, December 2005 to December 2011.

The South Island increase was a result of:

  • Canterbury sales rising 0.1 percent ($2 million)
  • remainder of the South Island sales rising 1.1 percent ($22 million).

Sales value trends continue to rise across all regions

Trends for the value of sales rose in all regions during the December quarter:

  • Auckland – up 25 percent since the March 2009 quarter.
  • Waikato – up 18 percent since the March 2009 quarter.
  • Wellington – up 21 percent since the September 2009 quarter.
  • Remainder of the North Island – up 5.7 percent since the September 2010 quarter.
  • Canterbury – up 7.4 percent since the December 2010 quarter.
  • Remainder of the South Island – up 11 percent since the December 2010 quarter.

Christchurch retail trade indicator

Statistics NZ has developed an experimental Christchurch retail trade indicator series. The purpose of the series is to provide information on the state of the Christchurch retail trade industry following the Canterbury earthquakes.

The series has been constructed using a combination of RTS data and goods and services tax (GST) data from Inland Revenue.

Data for the series will be available on a quarterly basis and will be released around three months after the end of the reference quarter. The first release will comprise data from the December 2003 quarter to the December 2011 quarter. More information on the series will be provided in the first release on 29 March 2012.

Actual value of stocks up slightly on December 2010

Note: There has been a revision to the value of stock reported in the June 2011 and September 2011 quarters. For more information, see the revisions section.

Stock figures are recorded as at 31 December 2011. All references to stocks are in actual (unadjusted) dollars.

The total value of stock held at the end of the December 2011 quarter ($6.3 billion) was 0.3 percent ($21 million) higher than at the end of the December 2010 quarter.

The value of stocks for the core retail industries ($5.0 billion) was 1.0 percent ($48 million) higher than for the same period last year.

Graph, Quarterly retail stock levels, December 2005 to December 2011.  

The largest increases were in:

  • supermarket and grocery stores, up 5.4 percent ($35 million)
  • furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textiles, up 7.7 percent ($20 million)
  • non-store and commission-based retailing, up 26.3 percent ($19 million).

Three industries recorded stock decreases of greater than $10 million:

  • motor vehicle and parts, down 2.7 percent ($33 million)
  • recreational goods, down 6.3 percent ($29 million)
  • hardware, building, and garden supplies, down 3.6 percent ($28 million).

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the ‘Downloads’ box.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+