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NZ retail sales rise 0.8pc, auto dominates

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/02/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand retail sales gained in the fourth quarter, led again by motor vehicle and parts retailing, with 11 of the 15 industries monitored seeing higher sales volumes.

The volume of retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent in the three months ended December 31, from a 0.9 per cent rise in the September quarter, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday. The total value of retail sales, seasonally adjusted, rose 1.1 per cent in the quarter to $21.08 billion.

Motor vehicle and parts retailing saw sales volumes rise 1.9 per cent, while volumes in core retail - which excludes motor vehicles and fuel - rose 0.6 per cent in December, outperforming September's 0.2 per cent growth, the agency said.

"This is the third consecutive quarter this industry has been at the forefront of retail quarterly movements. Several dealer respondents commented on having a very busy quarter - showroom upgrades, promotions, and more general customer-focused marketing resulted in higher sales," Statistics New Zealand commented.

"In actual terms, New Zealand Transport Agency figures continued to show increases for registrations of passenger vehicles, up 11 per cent in the December 2016 quarter from the same period in 2015."

Sales values rose for 13 of the 15 industries in the quarter, led by motor vehicle and parts retailing, which rose 2.7 per cent to $4.86 billion. Pharmaceutical and other store-based retail rose 3.1 per cent to $1.36 billion and accommodation rose 4 per cent to $946 million, while non-store and commission-based retailing dropped 4.8 per cent to $345 million.

The North Island saw sales values rise 1.2 per cent to $16.1 billion in the quarter, with $7.92 billion of that in Auckland, $2.03 billion in Waikato and $2.02 billion in Wellington. Sales values rose 1.5 per cent to $5 billion in the South Island.

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