WELLINGTON, May 21 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand consumers spent more on electronics and appliances, but less on clothing and footwear in the March 2018 quarter, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.
Overall, retail spending in the first three months of the year was relatively flat despite rising job numbers, high migration, and record international tourism, Stats NZ said.
Total retail sales volumes rose a modest 0.1 percent. This follows the 1.4-percent increase in the December 2017 quarter, when there were more industry increases across the board, it said.
"Steady growth in sales volumes for electronics and appliances has led the rise this quarter," retail trade manager Sue Chapman said in a statement, adding there has been sustained growth in this industry for some time, with sales trends rising over the past ten years.
Of the 15 retail industries, seven had higher sales volumes in the March 2018 quarter, and eight experienced lower sales volumes. The largest industry increase came from a record dollar value rise in electrical and electronic goods retailing, which was up 5.4 percent, Chapman said.
Total retail sales values rose 0.2 percent in the March 2018 quarter, following the 1.7-percent rise in the December 2017 quarter, statistics show.
Fuel retailing had the largest rise, up 3.4 percent. This is the second consecutive sales value increase for fuel after a 4.3-percent rise in the December 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said.
The largest decreases in the March quarter were clothing, footwear, and accessories, down 5.1 percent, and motor-vehicle and parts retailing, which was down 1.1 percent, it said.
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was 23.1 billion NZ dollars (15.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the March 2018 quarter, up 3.4 percent from the March 2017 quarter, it added.