Appliance Demand in New Zealand Ups Retail Sales
Aug 12, 2004
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Demand for home appliances, take-out food, and accommodation drove a better than expected rise in New Zealand retail sales volumes in the second quarter, according to official data.

Statistics New Zealand said seasonally adjusted retail sales volumes, which take account of price movements, increased by 0.8 percent in the quarter, compared with 2.6 percent growth in the first quarter.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast a seasonally adjusted rise of 0.2 percent in sales volumes for the quarter.

Seasonally adjusted total sales, which include price movements but remove seasonal factors, were up 1.0 percent in the 3 months ended June, with 15 of 24 retail industries showing an increase, the government agency said. It was the lowest quarterly rise in seasonally adjusted sales for a year, an official said.

The largest increases in sales volumes during the quarter were for appliance retailing, up 7 percent on the previous quarter, take-out food, up 11.5 percent, and hardware stores, up 4.3 percent.

Sales volumes for the core retailing group, which excludes motor vehicle sales and services, rose 1.5 percent in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of actual sales for the quarter was NZ$13.1 billion, and on an annual basis, actual sales were up 7.7 percent on the same quarter a year earlier.

Seasonally-adjusted retail sales in the June month were up 1.3 percent, against an expectation of a 0.5 percent rise in a Reuters poll.

The agency noted that during the quarter, visitor arrivals were 20.4 percent higher than a year earlier, building consents were 44.2 percent higher, and new car registrations 1.4 percent higher. (Reuters)

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