New Zealand’s retail sales experience growth for the first time in two years


23rd May 2024 – (Wellington) The total volume of retail sales has risen by 0.5 percent in the March 2024 quarter, marking the end of a prolonged period of decline, according to the country’s statistics department, Stats NZ. This encouraging news comes after eight consecutive quarters of falls in retail sales.

Melissa McKenzie, the Business Financial Statistics Manager at Stats NZ, noted that the March quarter witnessed a modest increase in retail activity, with growth observed across most industries. This upswing in performance comes as a welcome relief following two years of declines.

Among the 15 retail industries analyzed, nine experienced higher retail sales volumes in the March 2024 quarter compared to the previous quarter in December 2023, as highlighted by McKenzie. Industries such as food and beverage services, motor vehicle and parts retailing, recreational goods retailing, and accommodation played a significant role in driving the overall rise in retail activity during this period.

The positive trend in retail sales was not limited to specific regions but was rather widespread across the country. Canterbury and Otago, located in the South Island, recorded the most significant increases in the March quarter. Factors contributing to their robust performance could include a higher number of international visitors, an early Easter holiday, and international events occurring during this period, according to McKenzie.