14 Nov 2012

Retail spending down

7:01 pm on 14 November 2012

Retail spending was down in the three months to September, with supermarket, car and fuel sales all falling.

Figures show retail spending dropped 0.8% in the September quarter, compared with the previous quarter, when it rose 1.1%.

Excluding price changes, the volumes fell 0.4%, with shoppers buying less in nine of the 15 retail sectors.

Statistics New Zealand sayshardware, building and garden supplies were the only sector where sales were up, boosted by a rise in purchases in the Canterbury region.

On an annual basis, retail spending fell 2.1%.

Statistics NZ says the trend for retail spending has eased this year, after strong growth last year.

ANZ senior economist Mark Smith says retail momentum has ground to a halt.

He says consumer sentiment remains guarded with consumers continuing to look at high debt levels and the employment outlook going forward.