With Christmas season and summer holidays just around the corner, consumers are starting to loosen their grip on their wallets.
The BNZ-Business NZ’s monthly Performance of Services Index (PSI) assesses the level of business activity in the service sector in New Zealand. A PSI reading of over 50 indicates an expansion in activity and a reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
The latest electronic card transactions for the September quarter show that seasonally adjusted retail sales grew at 0.9 percent. This is in line with our June forecast, for annual growth of 3.5-4.0 percent. It was a bit ahead of what might be implied from the Treasury’s Monthly Economic Indicators forecast in August.
Following on the back of the past few months’ positive signs, retail sales continued to recovery in June. Compared with May 2012, seasonally adjusted purchases via eftpos and credit cards rose by 0.4 percent.
Business NZ’s monthly Performance of Services Index (PSI) declined in March 2012. The seasonally-adjusted index fell 1.9 points from February to 53.9 in March 2012. Despite this fall, the PSI index is up 2.3 points on year-earlier levels.
The latest retail trade stats are somewhat of a warm relief to the recent chill weather. Seasonally adjusted sales rose by1.1 percent in the last month. But the cool conditions may have contributed to the pick-up in retail sales. Clothing and softgoods sales in August had the largest increase ($14 million, 6.6 percent) across the 24 industries that StatsNZ monitors.
The latest statistics point to an on-going recovery for retail sales as consumer confidence grows.