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Accommodation leads record fall in New Zealand retail sales

05-14-2012 15:26 BJT

WELLINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand retail sales leveled out in the first quarter this year with accommodation purchases seeing their biggest-ever recorded fall after last year's Rugby World Cup brought a much-needed boost, the government statistics agency announced Monday.

In the quarter to the end of March, core retail sales volumes, which exclude vehicle-related sales, fell 2.5 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand.

This followed two quarters of growth fueled by the Rugby World Cup, which brought 133,200 visitors to New Zealand in September and October last year.

The drop in core retail sales volumes was also the largest decrease since the agency began recording the series in 1995.

When sales of motor vehicles and parts were included, total sales volumes fell 1.5 percent, said a statement from the agency.

"The industries that led this drop are the same ones whose sales were boosted during the Cup supermarkets, accommodation, and fuel," industry and labor statistics manager Blair Cardno said in the statement.

"Although sales volumes have fallen, they are still above their pre-Cup levels."

The value of core retail sales fell 2 percent to 13.3 billion NZ dollars (10.39 billion U.S. dollars), while the value of total retail sales, including vehicle-related sales, fell 0.8 percent to 17.4 billion NZ dollars.

"When we look at the longer-term picture, the trends for both total sales volumes and values have flattened after a period of strong increases. Trends for core retail sales values and volumes have fallen slightly," said the statement.

Accommodation sales volumes were down 5 percent in the March quarter, the largest decrease since the series began in 1995, said a commentary on the figures, while sales values were down 4.5 percent.

The decrease returned the volume of accommodation sales to its pre-Rugby World Cup level.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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