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Covid-19 lockdown recovery sees record increase in retail sales for September quarter — Stats NZ

Data released by Stats NZ today shows retail sales values have seen the highest jump year-on-year in the three months to September since at least 1995, when records began.

Supermarket trolley. Source: istock.com

Spending on major household items, vehicles and groceries contributed to the 7.4 per cent, or $1.8 billion rise, in total retail sales compared to the September 2019 quarter.

Car and parts sales are up 13 per cent ($454 million).

Supermarket stores are up 8.4 per cent ($429 million). Food and liquor sales remain high.

The total volume of retail sales rose by 8.3 per cent in the quarter compared to the same time last year.

Retail sales values for the year ended September. Source: Stats NZ

But, the rise didn’t make up for the historic fall of 15 per cent ($3.6 billion) in the June 2020 quarter, which was affected by the pandemic.

Most regions are also seeing rises in retail sales year-on-year.

Despite its Alert Level 3 lockdown during the quarter, the Auckland region had the largest dollar value increase.

Auckland was up 3.6 percent, or $315 million.

“While Auckland recorded the largest dollar value increase, in percentage terms the increase was lower than that for other main regions, partially due to a further lockdown period,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“While the year-on-year spending is encouraging for most industries, the hospitality sector is still suffering the economic impacts of border restrictions and a further lockdown period imposed on the Auckland region for part of this quarter.”

Canterbury had the next largest increase in dollar terms, up 9.3 percent, or $281 million.