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Retail spending quiet in the September quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  23 November 2017

Retail Trade Survey: September 2017 quarter  –  Media Release

Retailers saw quieter spending in the September 2017 quarter from the buoyant June period, which was boosted by increases from the hospitality industries, Stats NZ said today.

"There were strong increases from the food and beverage services and accommodation industries in June, on the back of the World Masters Games and the Lions tour," retail trade manager Sue Chapman said. "However, the reverse has occurred this quarter, with both of these industries falling."

After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, total retail sales volumes rose 0.2 percent with an almost even split of movements over the 15 industries. This quarter’s rise followed a 1.8 percent increase in the June 2017 quarter.

Of the eight industries to record increases in the September 2017 quarter, electrical and electronic goods had the largest rise (up 5.1 percent) while food and beverage services recorded the largest decrease (down 3.1 percent).

Retail sales values reflect a modest rise in September

When the effects of price changes are included, total retail sales values rose 0.1 percent ($30 million) in the September 2017 quarter. The last time retail sales growth was around this level was in the June 2015 quarter, when values rose 0.2 percent ($36 million).

Sales rose 1.4 percent ($317 million) in the June 2017 quarter and a record dollar value increase in the March 2017 quarter of 2.5 percent ($544 million).

Eight of the 15 industries had higher sales values with supermarket and grocery sales recording the largest increase, up 1.6 percent ($78 million). The largest decrease was in fuel retailing, down 3.2 percent ($64 million).

In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $21.9 billion in the September 2017 quarter, up 5.4 percent ($1.1 billion) from the September 2016 quarter.

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.

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

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Sue Chapman, Christchurch,  03 964 8371, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 23 November 2017

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