N.Z. Q1 Retail Sales Advance 2.5% On Quarter

The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent on quarter in the first quarter of 2021, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday – following the upwardly revised 2.6 percent contraction in the three months prior (originally -2.7 percent).

By industry, the main movements were: electrical and electronic goods, up 8.4 percent; recreational goods, up 16 percent; hardware, building, and garden supplies, up 4.5 percent; and department stores, up 5.6 percent.

Fuel had the biggest fall, down 2.2 percent, followed by pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing, down 1.4 percent.

The total value of retail sales also was up 2.5 percent on quarter (NZ$648 million).

Twelve of the 15 industries had higher sales values in the March 2021 quarter compared with the December 2020 quarter.

The main movements by industry were: hardware, building, and garden supplies, up 5.6 percent (NZ$144 million); recreational goods, up 16 percent (NZ$109 million); motor vehicle and parts retailing, up 2.5 percent (NZ$95 million); electrical and electronic goods, up 6.6 percent (NZ$78 million).

Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing had the largest fall, down 0.4 percent (NZ$4.6 million) followed by specialized food retailing, down 0.9 percent (NZ$4.0 million). Ten of the 16 regions had higher sales values in the March 2021 quarter compared with the December 2020 quarter.

The Auckland region had the largest increase, up 2.1 percent (NZ$199 million), followed by: Canterbury, up 2.3 percent (NZ$76 million); Waikato, up 2.0 percent (NZ$51 million); Wellington, up 1.0 percent (NZ$26 million). The sales value for the Otago region was down 3.0 percent (NZ$38 million), followed by Marlborough, down 4.7 percent (NZ$12 million).

On a yearly basis, sales rose 6.8 percent – accelerating from 4.8 percent in the three months prior.

Industries that have remained strong over the year to March 2021 were: motor vehicles and parts, up 24 percent (NZ$740 million); hardware, building, and garden supplies, up 19 percent (NZ$407 million); and electrical and electronic goods, up 26 percent (NZ$239 million).

Industries that showed consecutive falls throughout the year were fuel retailing, down 6.1 percent (NZ$137 million), and accommodation, down 10 percent (NZ$128 million) compared with the same period last year.

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