NZ retail sales fall for eighth straight quarter

With most industries experiencing a decline

NZ retail sales fall for eighth straight quarter

The latest figures from Stats NZ have revealed a continued fall in retail activity, with most industries experiencing a decline in the December 2023 quarter, extending a two-year trend of decreasing retail sales volumes.

Retail sales volume in New Zealand dropped by 1.9% in the December quarter, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of decline after adjustments for price and seasonal effects.

“Ongoing falls in retail activity over the last two years were marked by a fall in most industries in the December quarter,” said Melissa McKenzie, business financial statistics manager at Stats NZ.

Key industries hit the hardest

In the December 2023 quarter, 14 out of 15 retail sectors experienced a decline in sales volumes compared to the September 2023 quarter.

The most significant drops in retail activity were observed in motor vehicle and parts retailing, which decreased by 2.5%, food and beverage services, down by 2.4%, and fuel retailing, which saw a 3.6% reduction.

Contrasting the overall trend, the pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing sector saw a slight increase of 0.3%. This sector encompasses the retail sale of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, stationery, flowers, duty-free goods, and various other store-based retail products.

Yearly comparison reveals fall in retail sales values

Unadjusted for price and seasonal effects, the total value of retail sales saw a minor decrease compared with the same quarter in the previous year, indicating the first fall in sales values outside of nationwide lockdown periods since 2009.

Access the Stats NZ media release here.

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