Retail sales fall after Rugby World Cup boost

In the March 2012 quarter, the volume of core retail sales fell, following a boost from the Rugby World Cup in the previous two quarters, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Sales volumes for the core retail industries (which exclude vehicle-related industries) fell 2.5 percent in the March 2012 quarter the largest seasonally adjusted decrease since this series began in 1995. This record decrease follows very strong growth in the last two quarters of 2011, when the Rugby World Cup brought 133,200 overseas visitors to New Zealand.

When the two vehicle-related industries are included, total sales volumes fell 1.5 percent.

The industries that led this drop are the same ones whose sales were boosted during the Cup supermarkets, accommodation, and fuel, industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

Although sales volumes have fallen, they are still above their pre-Cup levels."

When the effects of price changes are included, the value of core retail sales fell 2.0 percent to $13.3 billion. The value of total retail sales fell 0.8 percent to $17.4 billion.

In the March 2012 quarter, seasonally adjusted sales values fell 1.2 percent in the North Island (where all eight of the Rugby World Cup knockout games were played in the previous quarter). South Island sales values rose slightly (up 0.3 percent).

When we look at the longer-term picture, the trends for both total sales volumes and values have flattened after a period of strong increases. Trends for core retail sales values and volumes have fallen slightly.

For the March 2012 quarter, compared with the December 2011 quarter (seasonally adjusted):

  • Core retail sales volumes fell 2.5 percent, the largest decrease since the series began in 1995.
  • Total retail sales volumes fell 1.5 percent, the largest drop since March 2009.
  • Core retail sales values fell 2.0 percent, and total sales values fell 0.8 percent.
  • Supermarket sales volumes fell 7.4 percent, the largest drop since the series began in 1995.