Retail sales remain buoyant in June quarter

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Stats NZ is reporting an increase in retail sales volume for the June quarter.

After adjusting for price and seasonal effects, the total retail sales volume rose 3.3 per cent in the June 2021 quarter, following a 2.8 per cent rise in the March 2021 quarter, Stats NZ says in a statement released this week..

“Most retail industries saw increases in spending, with rises across all regions. Spending on big ticket items such as electrical goods, housewares, and vehicles was a priority for many consumers during this June quarter,” says retail trade manager Sue Chapman .

Electrical and electronic goods had the largest increase in sales volumes, up 6.9 per cent, followed by rises in food and beverage, up 5.6 per cent, and motor vehicle and parts retailing, up 3.1 per cent.

“Many retailers saw higher sales this quarter, following the uncertainty of this time last year when the country was emerging from the first major Covid-19 lockdown period,” says Chapman.

Eating out and vehicle sales boost sales values

When the effects of price changes are included, the seasonally adjusted value of total retail trade sales rose $1.1 billion (4.0 per cent) in the June 2021 quarter.

Food and beverage services had the largest dollar value increase, up $222 million (7.0 per cent) this June quarter, following a modest rise of $43 million (1.4 per cent) in the March 2021 quarter.

Chapman says sales values for motor vehicle and parts retailing reached over $4 billion, for the first time in this series.

This industry had a strong increase of $179 million (4.6 per cent) in this June quarter following the $117 million (3.1 per cent) rise for the March 2021 quarter.

“We received comments from some vehicle respondents, stating a surge in sales of higher priced vehicles, and that they saw more interest in electric vehicle purchases during this quarter,” says Chapman.

In actual terms, the total values of retail sales were $27.5 billion in the June 2021 quarter, up 37 per cent ($7.4 billion) from the Covid-19 affected June 2020 quarter.

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