New Zealand: Rugby World Cup visitors boost retail sales in third quarter
November 14, 2011
In the third quarter, real retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 2.2% over the previous quarter, which represented an acceleration compared to the 1.0% increase observed in the second quarter and defied market expectations, which had retail sales slowing to 0.6%. Compared to the same quarter last year, retail sales accelerated from a 1.1% increase in the second quarter to a 3.9% expansion in the third. According to the National Statistics Institute, the quarterly expansion was broad-based and reflected the strong impact in spending related to the Rugby World Cup, which attracted 80,000 overseas visitors. The third quarter acceleration reflected higher sales in supermarket and grocery stores as well as accommodation. The Q3 reading shows that domestic demand, particularly private consumption, remained solid in the three-month period to September. In fact, the trend now points upwards, with annual average growth in retail sales rising from 0.9% in the second quarter to 1.4% in the third quarter.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist