New Zealand retail sales was a big disappointment to the markets. Ex-inflation retail sales volume grew merely 0.1% qoq in Q1, much lower than expectation of 1.0% qoq. That’s also a sharp slowdown from Q4’s 1.4% qoq. Besides, it’s the weakest quarter since 2015.
Stats NZ noted in the release that “retail spending in the first three months of the year was relatively flat despite rising job numbers, high migration, and record international tourism.”
“Of the 15 retail industries, seven had higher sales volumes in the March 2018 quarter, and eight experienced lower sales volumes.”