New car sales continue to push the volume of total retail trade sales up in New Zealand, with sales rising 1.9% in the December 2016 quarter reports Statistics NZ.
It says motor-vehicles sales led most of the quarterly industry movements over 2016.
“More expensive cars and SUV vehicles are selling well, especially in Auckland, according to comments from car dealers and industry experts,” says business indicators manager Tehseen Islam.
“Some of the increase in car sales may reflect a growing population, with net migration at record levels in 2016,” says Islam
After adjusting for seasonal effects, total retail sales volumes rose 0.8% in the latest quarter. This follows a similar 0.8% rise in September, and a stronger 2.2% rise in the June 2016 quarter.
Eleven of the 15 industries had higher sales volumes this quarter, with the largest increases in motor-vehicle and parts retailing – up 1.9%, pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing – up 2.5%, accommodation – up 3.5% and electrical and electronic goods – up 2.0%.
The pharmaceutical and other store-based industry is mainly made up of duty free stores and retailers selling cosmetics, and pharmacy and health products.
When the effect of price changes is included, the seasonally adjusted value of total retail sales rose 1.1% ($239 million) for the December 2016 quarter. This follows rises of 0.8% ($170 million) in September, and 2.1% ($434 million) in the June 2016 quarters.
Thirteen of the 15 retail industries had higher sales values in the latest quarter, with motor-vehicle and parts retailing having the largest rise, up 2.7% ($79 million).
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was $22.8 billion in the December 2016 quarter, up 4.7% ($1 billion) from the December 2015 quarter.