New Zealand retail sales miss the mark in Q2

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New Zealand retail sales growth came in well below expectations during the June quarter with a miniscule 0.1% increase recorded.

The figure, well below the downwardly-revised 2.3% increase of Q1, and forecasts for rise of 0.5%, marked the weakest quarter of growth since September quarter 2012.

The figures strip out price movements during the quarter, essentially measuring sales volumes.

When the effect of price changes was included, the seasonally adjusted total value of retail sales rose 0.1% ($25 million), Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said.

Despite the downward revision to Q1’s figure and Q2’s miss, retail sales volume increased by 5.9%, above expectations for growth of 5.2% and forecasts for a decline to 5.1%.

“The largest seasonally adjusted sales volume increase was in non-store and commission-based retailing, up 8.1%”, said Neil Kelly, SNZ’s business indicators manager .

“This industry includes businesses that are mainly engaged in selling online without a shop-front or physical shop presence. The largest sales volume decrease was in fuel retailing, down 0.9%.”

The weak data print, in line with a number of other weakening economic indicators, increases the likelihood that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will cut interest rates by 0.25% to 2.75% when it next meets on September 10.

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