The volume of retail sales showed little change in the June 2019 quarter, Stats NZ said today.
After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, the volume of total retail sales rose a modest 0.2 per cent, after a 0.7 per cent rise in the March 2019 quarter.
“We’ve seen relatively small changes in most of our retail industries this quarter,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.
Electrical and electronic goods retailing had the largest rise, up 5 per cent after increasing 0.3 per cent in March.
The electrical and electronic goods industry, which includes retailing for electrical appliances, mobile phones, and computer and technical equipment, had shown consistent growth for over seven years, after a slight fall in March 2012.
Supermarket and grocery stores had the largest fall in the June 2019 quarter, down 0.9 per cent after a 0.4 per cent rise in March.
Fuel drives sale value rise
When the effects of price changes are included, total retail sales rose 0.7 per cent ($170 million) in the June 2019 quarter, following a minimal 0.1 per cent ($17m) rise in the March quarter.
Fuel retailing boosted the total sales value this quarter, with the largest increase of 2.4 per cent ($54m). This quarter’s rise almost reversed the 1.9 per cent ($42m) fall in the March quarter, highlighting the effects of petrol and diesel price changes in the first half of this year.
“The fuel industry often provides volatile movements which are mainly reflective of the price changes,” Chapman said.
The largest decreases in the June 2019 quarter were in supermarkets and grocery stores, down 0.5 per cent ($26m) and specialised food retailing, down 2.5 per cent ($11m).
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $23.7 billion in the June 2019 quarter, up 3.4 per cent ($782m) from the June 2018 quarter.