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Retail Trade Survey: September 2017 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  23 November 2017
Key facts

Retail sales volume rise

For the September 2017 quarter, compared with the June 2017 quarter (seasonally adjusted):

  • The total volume of retail sales rose 0.2 percent.
  • Electrical and electronic goods had the largest increase, up 5.1 percent. Prices (which are not seasonally adjusted) have fallen 1.4 percent.
  • Food and beverage services had a record fall of 3.1 percent. This fall follows the record increase of 4.3 percent for the June 2017 quarter.
  • 8 of the 15 retail industries had higher sales volumes. 

Retail sales values show modest rise

The total value of retail sales rose 0.1 percent ($30 million). The last time retail sales growth was around this level was in the June 2015 quarter, when values rose 0.2 percent ($36 million).

  • Supermarket and grocery had the highest sales increase, up 1.6 percent ($78 million). Prices (which are not seasonally adjusted) for this industry were up 1.0 percent.
  • Food and beverage services fell 2.2 percent ($63 million). This record decrease follows the record increase of 4.7 percent ($126 million) in the June 2017 quarter.
  • Fuel retailing fell 3.2 percent ($64 million) following a 3.5 percent ($73 million) fall in the June 2017 quarter. Prices (which are not seasonally adjusted) for the fuel industry have fallen 1.5 and 1.8 percent in the September and June 2017 quarters, respectively.

Regions

  • The value of sales in the North Island rose 0.2 percent ($40 million) in the September quarter, after a 1.5 percent ($244 million) rise in the June 2017 quarter.
  • The value of sales in the South Island rose 0.7 percent ($38 million), after a 0.1 percent ($5 million) rise in the June 2017 quarter.
  • Of the 16 regions, nine recorded increases, with seven falling in the September quarter.
  • The regions with the largest rises were Auckland – up 0.8 percent ($65 million), followed by Otago – up 1.5 percent ($19 million), and Taranaki – up 3.9 percent ($18 million).
  • The regions with the largest decreases were Waikato – down 1.6 percent ($32 million), and Wellington – down 0.8 percent ($18 million).

Stocks

Stock figures are recorded at 30 September 2017. All references to stocks are in actual dollars.

  • The total value of stock held at 30 September 2017 ($7.6 billion) was 6.0 percent ($430 million) higher than at 30 September 2016.
  • 13 of the 15 retail industries recorded stock increases.
  • Motor-vehicle and parts retailing had the largest increase – up 10.8 percent ($169 million).

Design changes introduced this quarter

This is the first quarter where we collected retail trade data under the new design. We are using administrative data (goods and services tax (GST)) wherever possible, and supplementing this by surveying only the larger retail businesses.

We have produced a back-cast series by updating levels and maintaining the same previously published movements, where possible. As we continue to receive data under the new design we may need to update some of the back-cast series.

See Methodology changes to the Retail Trade Survey for more technical information.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician
ISSN 1178-0355
23 November 2017

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