DIY, repairs lead way in Canterbury spend

Cantabrian shoppers keep spending more.

Statistics New Zealand's latest Retail Trade Survey shows Cantabrians spent $160 million more in retail outlets in the December 2013 quarter compared to the year before, a 6.2 per cent increase. This was well ahead of the 3.9 per cent national growth over the same period.

New Zealand Retailers' Association chief executive John Albertson said retail was strong in Canterbury.

Anecdotally, household replacement goods were leading the way, he said.

Smiths City managing director Rick Hellings said he was not surprised to hear that Canterbury was performing better than the rest of the country.

"People are spending quite a lot of money on whiteware, and carpets . . . The sort of product we're selling would suggest the increase comes from the volume of repairs and the DIY market."

Hellings said he expected the trend to continue.

The retail sectors with the biggest increases nationwide were: clothing, footwear and accessories (up 9.9 per cent), recreational goods (up 8.6 per cent) and fuel retailing (up 5.7 per cent).

Non-store and commission- based retailing (down 10 per cent), and accommodation (down 2.4 per cent) had the biggest falls. There was no breakdown by sector and by region.

Paymark figures released last week showed Canterbury's spending was up 9.4 per cent in January, compared with January last year, and was ahead of national growth of 7.9 per cent.

Nationally, analysts were surprised by the softer than expected results. Statistics NZ figures show that after adjusting for seasonal effects, volumes were up 1.2 per cent, after a 0.2 per cent gain in the September quarter.

ASB economist Daniel Smith had forecast 2.5 per cent growth in the December quarter, more than double the recorded 1.2 per cent increase.

The Press