16 Feb 2016

Consumer spending stayed strong in late 2015

1:40 pm on 16 February 2016

Consumer spending remained strong in the three months ended December, driven by strong sales of building and hardware supplies, petrol and electronic goods.

Eftpos machine

Eftpos machine Photo: 123rf

Statistics New Zealand says retail sales volumes rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.2 percent in the quarter after a 1.5 percent reading in the quarter.

It said sales of goods for the house and garden showed the largest increase, while a sharp fall in the price of petrol prompted people to buy more, and discounted electronic goods were snapped up as well.

Other retailers to do well during the quarter were bars, hotels and restaurants who benefited from the boom in tourism.

The growth in spending was strongest in the Auckland region and the provincial regions of the North and South Islands, but eased in the dairy region Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury.

Retail sales were up more than 5 percent on a year earlier, pointing to a solid level of domestic economic activity.