Total online retail spending in June was up 19 per cent compared to June 2014 levels, with double-digit annual growth in purchases at both local and international sites. This is according to the BNZ online retail sales report.
Spending at international sites followed a strong May with an even stronger June, with spending up 29 per cent on June last year. The New Zealand dollar was particularly weak compared to the same month a year ago, down 19 per cent against the US dollar and 12 per cent against the UK pound. This is making overseas goods more expensive (which partly contributes to the higher spending figure), but underlying volumes are continuing to rise regardless.
Online spending at local merchants in June was up 12 per cent on the level a year earlier, which is stronger than the recent trend and outpacing the growth in spending at physical stores (six per cent based on electronic card transactions).
The monthly volatility in consumer spending means care needs to be taken so as conclusions are not drawn on wider trends from a single month’s figures.
The increase in the groceries category continues to be mainly driven by the “other specialised food” component (which includes supplements) at both international and domestic merchants.
Vista Group said it had strong cash flow in the the first six months ended in June, with the business trading in line with expectations set out in its prospectus forecast.