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Electronic goods boost quarterly retail sales

New Zealand’s retail spending recorded growth in the first quarter of this year, mainly driven by the sales of electronic goods, according to Stats NZ.

Retail sales in the first quarter increased by 2.5 per cent compared to the previous quarter. Electronic goods and recreational goods had the highest increase in sales, surging 8.4 per cent and 16 per cent during the March quarter.

“Higher spending in the electrical industry coincides with falling prices for computers and phones during the first quarter of 2021,” said Sue Chapman, retail business manager. “In addition, recreational and outdoor sporting goods were top of the list for many New Zealanders over the summer holiday break.

“Many were enjoying the ability to travel around the country for camping, water or biking activities, and the opportunity to attend large events such as the America’s Cup,” she added.

According to Stats NZ, retail sales in the March quarter rose 6.5 per cent year-on-year, equivalent to $1.6 billion.

While electronic goods reached 26 per cent growth, supermarket and grocery stores had mixed results throughout the year and fell 5.2 per cent compared with the peak increase of 13 per cent in the March quarter last year.

Hardware, building, and garden supplies had the highest dollar value increase, up $144 million (5.6 per cent).

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