New Zealand: Retail sales accelerate in Q4
February 17, 2014
Retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 1.2% over the previous quarter in Q4. The reading came in above the revised 0.2% increase tallied in Q3 (previously reported: +0.3% quarter-on-quarter), but fell short of the 1.6% expansion the market had expected.
According to the statistical office, "nine of the 15 retail industries had higher sales volumes in the last quarter." Q4's expansion mainly reflected a notable increase in clothing and footwear retailing (Q4: +9.9% qoq), an expansion in fuel retailing (Q4: +5.7% qoq) and healthy growth in recreational goods retailing (Q4: +8.6% qoq).
Compared to the same period of the previous year, retail sales slowed from a 4.7% increase in Q3 to a 3.9% expansion in Q4. In the full year 2013, retail sales increased 4.1%, which was faster than the 3.6% expansion tallied in 2012.
FocusEconomics Consensus forecast participants expect private consumption to expand 3.0% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.4%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist