Retail sales slide during December quarter

(Source: Bigstock)

Stats NZ data reveals New Zealand retail sales decreased by 4 per cent year on year in the quarter to December. 

The largest contributing sectors in the overall decline were the hardware, building, and garden supplies business sector, which declined by 15 per cent, and the motor vehicles and parts industry, down 10 per cent.

“Falls in building supplies and vehicle sales in the December 2022 quarter are reflective of a decline from the peak in sales seen during December 2021,” said business financial statistics manager Melissa McKenzie.

“Covid-19 restrictions have influenced changes in sales patterns in many retail industries over the past few years.”

However, Stats NZ said the hospitality industry saw an increase in sales volumes in the most recent quarter, with lodging services up 28 per cent and food and beverage services up 14 per cent over the same period in 2021.

“With border restrictions lifting, a return of international visitors was likely to have helped boost hospitality spending at the end of 2022,” McKenzie said.

After seasonal factors and price effects were removed, total retail sales volumes declined 0.6 per cent in the previous quarter compared to the September quarter when sales were up 0.6 per cent on the previous comparable period.

Further reading: Soaring retail price increases outside retailers’ control, says Retail NZ

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