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New Zealand Q1 Retail Sales Climb 0.7%

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The volume of total retail sales in New Zealand gained a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter in the first quarter of 204, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.9 percent following the upwardly revised gain of 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter (originally 1.2 percent).

"Ten of the 15 retail industries had higher sales volumes in this latest quarter," business indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

The industries with the largest increases in March were: electrical and electronic goods retailing, up 5.5 percent; hardware, building, and garden supplies retailing, up 2.0 percent; and food and beverage services, up 1.5 percent.

"There has been sustained growth in the sales volumes for the electrical and electronic goods industry, with the trend rising for the past six years," Islam said.

The volume of sales in the core retailing industries (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) added 0.8 percent.

For the core retail industries, sales rose 0.7 percent (NZ$102 million).

Looking at the longer-term picture, the trends for both total retail sales volumes and values have generally been rising since mid-2009, the statistics bureau said.

The value of retail sales was NZ$18.3 billion in the first quarter - up 0.7 percent on quarter and 3.4 percent on year.

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