16 Nov 2015

Strong retail sales driven by cars

4:03 pm on 16 November 2015

Consumer spending has rebounded strongly in the three months ended September after a soft patch driven vehicle sales, according to official data.

A Statistics New Zealand spokesperson said retail sales volumes rose 1.6 percent in the quarter after a flat reading in the June quarter.

Sales of electronic goods surged nearly 7 percent on the previous quarter, and vehicle sales were close to record levels, helped by a modest lift in the New Zealand dollar which effectively made them cheaper.

There was a solid lift in furniture, food and beverage sales.

Compared with a year ago, retail sales were nearly 6 percent higher.

Retail sales grew strongest in the upper North Island, suggesting the growth in house prices was feeding through into consumer confidence which, along with low interest rates was helping offset the impact of weaker dairy incomes, the spokesperson said.