Retail sales rise in June quarter on Lions tour, Masters Games spending

Sales volumes gained 2% in the three months ended June 30 2017, following a 1.6% rise in the March quarter.

New Zealand retail sales rose in the June quarter, benefitting from increased consumer spending during the World Masters Games and the Lions rugby tour.

Sales volumes gained 2 percent in the three months ended June 30, 2017, following a 1.6 percent rise in the March quarter, Statistics New Zealand figures show. The value of retail sales rose 1.6 percent, compared to the record 2.5 percent increase in the March quarter.

Twelve of the 15 industries surveyed posted higher sales volumes in the quarter, while eleven reported increased values. The food and beverage sector, which includes cafes, restaurants, bars, takeaways, and catering services, saw a record volume increase of 4.2 percent in the quarter, with the value of sales rising 4.6 percent, the strongest increase across all the industries surveyed.

"With more than 28,000 people attending the World Masters Games in late April, and the surge of 23,000 visitors from the UK and Ireland, many arriving for the Lions rugby series starting in June, there was an expected lift for food and drink providers," business indicators senior manager Daria Kwon said in a statement. "Accommodation sales also showed the strongest increase in three years, up 6.1 percent, which was reflected by a 14 percent rise in international guest nights in the June accommodation survey."

Consumer confidence has remained relatively upbeat as strong employment growth and the government's families package support household incomes. Economists will get another update on Thursday with the release of the ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey.

Today's data show sales of electronic goods rose 5.2 percent, while motor vehicle and parts retailing gained 1.7 percent, tailing off after a 4.9 percent increase in the March quarter and a 4.1 percent increase in December 2016.

Stats NZ is planning to introduce new methodology to use more administrative data and less survey data, and will publish more information on that before its next release in November, it said.

(BusinessDesk)