Retail sales dip

23:09, May 13 2012

Supermarkets, hotels and motels and petrol companies are suffering a nasty post-Rugby World Cup hangover, with sales volumes down in the March quarter.

The same sectors got a boost from the rugby tournament in the last two quarters of last year.

Statistics NZ figures out today show sales volumes in core retail sectors, excluding cars and fuel, were down 2.5 per cent in the March quarter- the largest seasonally adjusted fall in the series since it began in 1995.

Including vehicles and fuel, volumes were down 1.5 per cent.

"The industries that led this drop are the same ones whose sales were boosted during the Cup - supermarkets, accommodation, and fuel," Statistics NZ industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

"Although sales volumes have fallen, they are still above their pre-Cup levels."

When the effects of price changes are included, the value of core retail sales fell 2 per cent to $13.3 billion.

The value of total retail sales fell 0.8 percent to $17.4 billion.

In the March 2012 quarter, seasonally adjusted sales values fell 1.2 per cent in the North Island (where all eight of the Rugby World Cup knockout games were played in the previous quarter). South Island sales values rose slightly (up 0.3 per cent).

More up to date monthly figures on electronic cards out last week showed consumers spent 0.6 per cent more on credit and debit cards in April than in March.