Retail Spending in New Zealand Declines in June 2023 Quarter

Retail sales in New Zealand experienced a decline of 1.0 percent in the June 2023 quarter, as per the latest data released by Stats NZ. This follows similar drops of 1.6 percent in the March 2023 quarter and 1.1 percent in the December 2022 quarter, after adjusting for price and seasonal effects.

Out of the 15 retail industries, 11 witnessed decreased sales volumes in the June 2023 quarter compared to the previous quarter.

The notable contributors to this decline were the food and beverage services sector, which saw a decrease of 4.4 percent, and the hardware, building, and garden supplies industry, which experienced a 4.8 percent reduction.

The motor vehicle and parts retailing sector, however, bucked the trend with a significant rise of 3.7 percent in this quarter, rebounding from a 2.1 percent fall in the March 2023 quarter.

Thomas Cooper, the business financial statistics manager, attributed the increase in vehicle sales to the anticipation of changes to the Clean Car Discount scheme that were set to take effect in July.

It’s important to note that the figures are seasonally adjusted and subject to revisions as more data is gathered in subsequent periods. This approach helps account for evolving seasonal patterns since the onset of COVID-19 impacts in 2020.

When not adjusted for seasonal patterns and price effects, the total value of retail sales reached $29 billion in the June 2023 quarter, marking a 2.5 percent increase ($725 million) compared to the same period in 2022.