June sales up 5.5% on a year ago
Statistics NZ now produces 10 tables showing monthly & quarterly figures for the retail trade, broken down in every table to a set of retail categories. The figures give comparisons between real sales at the same time the previous year, with the previous month or quarter, seasonally adjusted versions and trends. They also include comparisons stated in 1995 dollars, indicating uninflated change, and per head of population.
I prefer to compare figures year to year rather than accept Statistics’ seasonal adjustments month to month, especially after the uncertainty of the effect of an early Easter. But whichever figures you look at, retail trade has been rising strongly.
June month figures
All-store sales totalled $3.858 billion, down $2-300 million on each of the previous 3 months, up $200 million (5.5%) on June 2001.
The biggest category, food, rose 6% on a year earlier, vehicle retailing 10.2%, vehicle servicing fell 0.7%. Furniture/floor coverings rose 18.1%, recreational goods 13.9%, personal & household services 10.9%. Appliance sales fell 1.1%.
June quarter comparisons
Total sales for the quarter were $12.043 billion. Retail sales took a quantum leap in the December 2000 quarter, from $10.6 billion to $12 billion, and have been above $11 billion every quarter since. The all-stores increase for the June quarter over a year earlier was 8.3%, following rises of 7.2% in December and 8.2% in March.
Vehicle retailing has been a heavy contributor every time, making up 17.7% of sales for the June quarter. Food rose 7%, furniture/floor coverings 19%, footwear 10.7%, recreational goods 10.5%. Appliance retailing rose 5.5% over the quarter, falling 1.1% in the last month.
Sales/person (gst excluded) fell $1 from the March to June quarter, to $3061/person. Compared to the June 2001 quarter, the rise was 6%, from $2889/person.