WELLINGTON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Robust spending on pharmaceuticals, duty-free goods, and food services boosted overall spending in the December 2018 quarter after a subdued September quarter, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.
Total retail sales volume rose 1.7 percent in the December 2018 quarter after a modest 0.3 percent rise in the September 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said.
Sales volumes grew a record 8.2 percent for pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing, and a record 4.2 percent for food and beverage services in the December 2018 quarter. However, these large increases followed sizeable falls in the September 2018 quarter for both industry groups, it said.
The pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing industry includes sales from chemists, such as cosmetics and medicine products, health supplement stores, duty-free stores, pet shops, and stationery goods outlets.
"We've seen increases in a number of store-types in this category," retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said in a statement.
"Increased visitor numbers to New Zealand could be a factor in higher sales for both of these industries, such as sales for duty-free outlets and food service operators," Chapman said.
More than half a million visitors arrived in New Zealand in December 2018, breaking the previous December 2017 monthly record, she added.
In actual terms, the value of total retail sales was 26.3 billion NZ dollars (18 billion U.S. dollars) in the December 2018 quarter, up 4.5 percent on the December 2017 quarter, statistics showed.