New Zealand sees another quarter of declining retail sales

(Source: Bigstock)

New Zealand recorded retail sales of $25 billion for the December quarter, down 1.9 per cent compared to the September quarter

This marks the eighth consecutive quarter of decreased retail sales in the country, according to Stats NZ. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales fell 1.5 per cent to $30 billion.

“Ongoing falls in retail activity over the last two years were marked by a fall in most industries in the December quarter,” said Melissa McKenzie, business financial statistics manager at Stats NZ.

Fourteen of the 15 industries surveyed saw lower seasonally adjusted sales volumes during the period. The largest contributors to the fall were motor vehicle and parts retailing (down 2.5 per cent), food and beverage services (down 2.4 per cent), and fuel retailing (down 3.6 per cent).

Pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing was the only industry with a slight improvement (up 0.3 per cent).

Ten of the 16 regions had lower seasonally adjusted sales values, namely Auckland (down 1.2 per cent), Wellington (down 1.5 per cent), Hawke’s Bay (down 3.0 per cent), and Canterbury (down 0.6 per cent) among others.

Without adjusting for price and seasonal effects, total retail sales values fell 0.4 per cent year-on-year in the December quarter. This is the first fall since those seen during nationwide Covid-19 lockdowns in the September 2021 and June 2020 quarters.

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