The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday – following the downwardly revised flat reading in the three months prior (originally a 0.7 percent increase).
Eight of the 15 industries had lower sales volumes in the March 2020 quarter. Motor vehicles and parts retailing had the largest fall, down 7.5 percent after a flat December 2019 quarter. Food and beverage services had the second largest fall, down 6.7 percent on the back of a 0.9 fall in the December quarter.
These drops were followed by accommodation services, down 9.3 percent after a 1.2 percent rise in the December quarter, and clothing, footwear, and accessories, down 6.6 percent after a 1.4 percent increase in the December quarter.
Supermarket and grocery stores had the largest increase, up 8.5 percent after a 1.2 percent fall in the December quarter. Department stores had the second largest increase, up 2.6 percent after a 4.7 percent fall in the December quarter.
The value of retail sales (with price effects included) fell 0.4 percent (NZ$89 million) as 10 of the 16 regions showed lower sales values.
On a yearly basis, retail sales advanced 2.3 percent – slowing from the 3.3 percent increase in the previous three months.
Motor vehicle and parts retailing had the largest fall in retail sales value in the March 2020 quarter, down 7.4 percent (NZ$248 million) when the effects of price changes are included. This followed a 0.1 percent (NZ$4.4 million) fall in the December 2019 quarter.
The second largest fall came from food and beverage services, down 5.8 percent (NZ$179 million), after a relatively flat December quarter.
These falls were followed by accommodation, down 11 percent (NZ$127 million), on the back of a 4.6 percent (NZ$49 million) rise in the December quarter.
Supermarket and grocery stores had the largest increase in sales value this quarter, up 9.7 percent (NZ$514 million), after a relatively flat December quarter. The second largest increase came from department stores, up 2.6 percent (NZ$36 million), after a 3.9 percent (NZ$55 million) fall in the December quarter.