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New Zealand Retail Sales Growth Misses Expectations in Q4, Rises 0.8 Pct Q/q

New Zealand's volume of retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in the three months ended December 31, from a 0.9 percent rise in the September quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The rise was less than expectations by economists at 1 percent. The total value of retail sales, seasonally adjusted, rose 1.1 per cent in the quarter to $21.08 billion. On an unadjusted basis, the value of retail spending rose 4.7 percent to $22.8b in the December quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015.

Auto sector continued to outperform for the third consecutive quarter supporting retail sales growth. Motor vehicle and parts retailing saw sales volumes rise 1.9 percent, while volumes in core retail - which excludes motor vehicles and fuel - rose 0.6 per cent in December, outperforming September's 0.2 percent growth, the agency said.

"Over the year as whole, we saw a solid 4% lift in spending volumes. We expect spending growth will ease off in 2017, but still remain healthy." said Westpac NZ Research in a report.

Kiwi subdued on retail sales’ miss. NZD/USD slumps below 0.72 handle, and is currently trading at 0.7217. Close below 5-DMA at 0.7194 could see weakness upto next major support at 0.7132 (100-DMA).

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Mar 28 at 8:10 UTC