You are here
Home > News > Kiwi retail spending rebounds in December

Kiwi retail spending rebounds in December

retail spending

Ōtepoti – Retail sales rebounded in the last quarter of 2021 with rises in many industries, almost reversing the falls recorded in the lockdown period of the September 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

After price effects were removed the seasonal adjusted total sales volumes rose 8.6 percent in the December 2021 quarter, compared to the 8.2 percent fall seen in the September 2021 quarter.

Two industries dominated the increase in the December quarter. Strong rises were seen in motor vehicles and parts retailing, up 22 percent, and in the hardware, building, and garden supplies industry, up 33 percent. These industries had falls of 13 and 15 percent respectively, in the September 2021 quarter.

Motor vehicle dealers and building supply owners experienced an increase in sales over this quarter. Higher vehicle imports and registrations were seen this quarter, along with increased construction activity, particularly in residential housing with record numbers of consents issued monthly since early 2021.

New Zealand is seeing a surge in sales following the longer period of covid lockdowns, especially in the Auckland region. Some New Zealanders maybe choosing to upgrade their vehicles or undertake home improvements rather than spending on overseas holidays.

Department stores had the next largest rise in sales volumes, up 19 percent, followed by the food and beverage services industry with a rise of 12 percent in the December 2021 quarter.

Industries with lower sales this quarter were supermarket and grocery stores, down 5.3 percent, and accommodation, down 20 percent, compared to the September 2021 quarter.

In actual terms, using year-on-year movements, total retail sales values reached its highest level of $31 billion this quarter, up 8.8 percent ($2.5 billion) on the December 2020 quarter.

Hardware, building, and garden supplies up 21 percent ($595 million) and motor vehicles and parts up 16 percent ($588 million) showed the largest increases compared to the same period a year ago.

Aotearoa is witnessing higher levels of spending across many industry sectors in this last quarter of the year. However, while many retailing sectors are showing increases, hospitality businesses continue to struggle without the international visitors to New Zealand.

The largest falls were in the hospitality sector with accommodation, down 12 percent ($113 million), while food and beverage services were down 2.7 percent ($90 million) compared to the December 2020 quarter.

Stats NZ’s retail trade dashboard has further details on retail industries over time – view, compare, and download data for specific retail industries, or data by geographic regions.