A boom in car sales has driven up total retail trade sales statistics, Stats NZ said this morning, and accounted for over half the increase in total retail sales volume for the quarter.
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales topped $21.5 billion for the March 2017 quarter, up 6.7 per cent compared to March 2016.
After adjusting for seasonal effects, the motor-vehicles industry had a record 5.9 per cent increase in the latest quarter.
“Car sales have shown consistent growth over the past year, with higher sales of both new and used vehicles in a buoyant market,” said senior business indicators manager Neil Kelly.
“The demand for cars may reflect New Zealand’s growing population, with net migration remaining at record levels into 2017, and the relatively low cost of new vehicles.”
Total retail sales volume rose 1.5 per cent in the latest quarter, after adjusting for seasonal effects. This follows a 0.9 rise in the December 2016 quarter.
Nine of the 15 industries analysed had a higher sales volume in the latest quarter. Motor vehicles and parts had the highest increase, up 5.9 per cent to $3.22 billion. This was followed by food and beverage services, up 3.5 per cent, and electrical and electronic goods, up 5.3 per cent.
When the effect of price changes is included, the seasonally adjusted value of total retail sales rose 2.6 per cent, or $558 million, for the March 2017 quarter.
11 industries had higher sales values compared to the December 2016 quarter, with motor vehicle and parts heading the increase, up 5.9 per cent, or $179 million, followed by fuel retailing, up 6.5 per cent, or $122 million.