New Zealand: Retail sales improve in second quarter
August 14, 2013
Retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in Q2 over the preceding period. The reading overshot both the revised 0.9% increase in the first quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter) and market expectations of a 1.3% rise.
According to the statistics office, the Q2 improvement reflects a substantial increase in sales of food and beverage services as well as department store sales. In contrast, fuel retailing dropped over the previous quarter.
Compared to the same quarter last year, retail sales accelerated from a 3.5% increase in the first quarter to a 4.2% expansion in the second, which marks the fastest pace in a year. Annual average growth in retail sales picked up from 1.2% in Q1 to 1.4% in Q2.
Strong growth in retail sales bodes well for private consumption going forward. FocusEconomics Consensus forecast participants expect private consumption to expand 2.7% this year, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.3%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist