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Retail sales growth tapers off after New Year burst

(Source: Bigstock)

Retail sales volumes fell 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, following an 8.3 per cent increase in December last year, according to Stats NZ.

Without taking seasonal patterns and price effects into account, the value of total retail sales for the March quarter was $28.4 billion.

The largest drops were seen in motor vehicles and parts, down 4 per cent, and in hardware, building, and garden supplies at 5.5 per cent. 

Both categories recorded a strong rise of 19 per cent and 32 per cent respectively in the December quarter last year.

Business financial statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said:  “Continued volatility in vehicle and hardware sales resulted in flat retail volumes this quarter.”

The largest rises were recorded in electrical and electronic goods which were up 2.7 per cent. Pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing also increased, by 3.5 per cent.

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