Retail sales in New Zealand increased 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December 2018, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in the previous period and above market expectations of a 0.5 percent rise. It was the biggest gain in retail trade since the first quarter of 2017, as sales rebounded for pharmaceutical & other store-based retailing (8.2 percent vs -3.5 percent in Q3); food & beverage services (4.2 percent vs -2.0 percent); specialised food (1.7 percent vs -1.8 percent); and motor vehicles & parts (0.1 percent vs -1.9 percent). Also, sales advanced further for non-store & commission-based retailing (4.1 percent vs 1.8 percent); clothing, footwear, & accessories (4.1 percent vs 2.2 percent); electrical & electronic goods (4.6 percent vs 3.6 percent); accommodation (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent) and fuel (1 percent vs 0.7 percent). Year-on-year, retail sales went up 3.5 percent in the last quarter of 2018, after rising 2.7 percent in the prior period. Retail Sales MoM in New Zealand averaged 0.74 percent from 1995 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2.80 percent in the third quarter of 2004 and a record low of -2.80 percent in the first quarter of 2009.
Retail Sales MoM in New Zealand is expected to be 1.20 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Retail Sales MoM in New Zealand to stand at 1.20 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the New Zealand Retail Sales QoQ is projected to trend around 1.30 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.