The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand added a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday.
That was shy of expectations for a gain of 1.0 percent and down from the downwardly revised 1.4 percent in the three months prior (originally 1.7 percent).
“Steady growth in sales volumes for electronics and appliances have led the rise this quarter,” retail trade manager Sue Chapman said. “There has been sustained growth in this industry for some time, with sales trends rising over the past ten years.”
Of the 15 retail industries, seven had higher sales volumes in the March 2018 quarter, and eight experienced lower sales volumes. The largest industry increase came from a record dollar value rise in electrical and electronic goods retailing (up 5.4 percent).
Other industries with large movements were: supermarket and grocery stores (up 1.0 percent); pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing (up 2.7 percent); and clothing, footwear, and accessories, which had the largest decrease (down 5.0 percent).
In Q1, the value of retail sales added 0.2 percent to NZ$58 million, slowing from the 1.7 percent increase (NZ$379 million) in the previous three months.
Of the 15 retail industries, seven had higher sales values and eight lower sales values in the March 2018 quarter.
Fuel retailing had the largest rise, up 3.4 percent (NZ$70 million). This is the second consecutive sales value increase for fuel after a 4.3 percent (NZ$84 million) rise in the December 2017 quarter. The fuel value series includes the rising and volatile price changes for this industry.
The largest decreases in the March quarter were clothing, footwear, and accessories, down 5.1 percent (NZ$49 million) and motor-vehicle and parts retailing, down 1.1 percent (NZ$38 million).
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was NZ$23.1 billion in the March 2018 quarter, up 3.4 percent (NZ$757 million) from the March 2017 quarter.