Fri, 05 Mar 2021

WELLINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Robust sales of vehicles, hardware supplies and electrical items contributed to the rise of total retail values in New Zealand in the December quarter last year after the spending surge in the September quarter sales, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

In actual terms using year on year movements, total retail sales values rose 4.9 percent, or 1.3 billion NZ dollars (0.95 billion U.S. dollars) in December 2020 quarter after the strong 7.4 percent rise in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said.

The momentum of higher spending on motor vehicles continued into the December 2020 quarter with another solid increase of 12 percent, after the 13-percent lift in the September 2020 quarter, it said.

"Consumer demand remains high in the vehicle industry, regardless of some price increases for new models, and the port supply issues of vehicle arrivals seen earlier in the year," retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said in a statement.

Hardware, building, and garden supplies, up 16 percent, and electrical and electronic goods retailing, up 19 percent, were the next largest increases this quarter, compared with the December 2019 quarter, Chapman said.

"The strong housing market and continued household improvements have kept consumer demands high for the hardware and garden supplies sales," she said.

Sales values in the fuel retailing industry had the largest fall, down 10 percent compared with the December 2019 quarter. This includes the effects of price changes. This quarter saw lower fuel prices, compared with a year ago when fuel prices were on average 30 cents higher over the December 2019 quarter, according to Stats NZ.

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