Furniture boom continues, car sales quieter
Retail trade figures were steady in August compared to July, and 7.3% above August 2001. Auckland was ahead of last year by the national average, the Waikato pulled back from a July surge and Wellington remained in the doldrums.
Around $4 billion (excluding gst) has been sold monthly in 6 of the past 12 months (and Christmas sales took December to $4.8 billion). The level now is about $280 million above the level a year ago, a 7.3% rise.
Among the significant moves in the figures released by Statistics NZ today:
furniture & floorcoverings continued a 5-month boom run with sales 18.9% above a year ago at $115 million
appliance retailing was up 12.3% to $140 million (highly volatile over those 5 months, ranging from a 13.7% gain in April, which included Easter this year, to a 1.1% fall in June, but in actual dollars varying between $120-140 million/month this year)
department store retailing rose 13.3% over August 2001 to $213 million, but over the past 6 months has been in a range from $202-231 million/month, with the high including Easter) and
recreation goods sales rose 12.8% over August 2001 to $154 million (but sales in this category have been in the very tight $154-157 million/month for 5 months).Vehicle retailing quieter
Vehicle retailing was up 9.4% on August 2001 to $634 million, in the middle of the $607-650 million/month range of the past 6 months. This category rose 26.7% in April, but the $610 million of sales that month was at the low end of the spectrum.
Sales in the Auckland region rose 7.4% over August 2001 to $1.364 billion.
In the Waikato, sales in August 2001 were 10.5% on a year earlier, but were followed by a comparative dip to a 5.2% rise in September 2001. Waikato sales rises were in double figures for 8 of the next 10 months (April was up 20.7%, July 13.4%). In June there was a comparative dip to an 8.1% rise, and in August 2002 the rise was 8.7%.
In Wellington, the picture has been entirely different. The rise in August was 3.1%, following a 2.4% rise in July, no change in June and 2 months of 5.1% increases.