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New Zealand Q3 Retail Sales Up 0.3%

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The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand added a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.

That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.9 percent following the 1.5 percent gain in the second quarter.

The volume of core retail sales, which excludes vehicle-related industries, eased 0.1 percent.

"We are seeing mixed results this quarter, with the continued lift from the motor-vehicle industry keeping sales positive, despite eight of the 15 industries falling in September," industry and labor statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

The industries with the largest movements in September were: motor-vehicle and parts retailing, up 3.3 percent; hardware, building, and garden supplies retailing, up 3.0 percent; clothing, footwear, and accessories retailing, down 6.8 percent; and accommodation, down 4.4 percent.

When the effect of price changes is included, the total value of retail sales rose 0.6 percent (NZ$108 million), with sales rising in nine of the 15 retail industries.

For the core retail industries, sales fell 0.2 percent (NZ$25 million).

In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was NZ$17.6 billion, up 4.5 percent on year.

Also on Thursday, an index measuring manufacturing activity in New Zealand came in with a score of 55.7 in October, the latest survey from Business NZ revealed on Thursday - expanding for the 11th consecutive month.

A score above 50 indicates expansion in a sector, while a score below 50 signals contraction.

That's up from the 54.2 reading in September.

By individual component, all of the indices showed expansion, led by the machinery and equipment categories.

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