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Canterbury Retail Analysis Week Ending 24 May 2020

By: Peter Fieger and David Dyason, ChristchurchNZ economists.

This week’s retail report is of interest as it covers the first week that is fully within alert level two, since leaving alert level three. It is thus reasonable to expect a consolidation of the upswing in retail activity seen in the previous week.

Retail spending volumes for the week ending 24 May 2020 indicated an overall increase of 3 per cent spending in Canterbury compared to the same week last year. This is a profound improvement of about 13.2 percentage points above last week’s figure (-10.2%).

Compared to the previous week, spending has picked up significantly in all retail categories other than in the Food, Liquor & Pharmacies category. The lowering of the alert level to 2 was particularly evident in the Clothing, Footwear & Dept. Stores and Home & Recreational categories, which in the current week saw spending levels well above the same week last year 21.5 and 47.7 percent respectively. This may be due to deferred spending during higher alert levels.

Retail type Weekly change: (percentage point change between 17 May & 24 May 2020)
Food, Liquor & Pharmacies -0.7%
Hospitality & Accommodation

+19.4% 

Fuel & Automotive

+8.9% 

Clothing, Footwear & Dept. Stores

+36.5% 

Home & Recreational Retailing

+28.6% 

Overall

+13.2% 

 

Other than Hospitality & Accommodation and Fuel & Automotive, all retail sectors do now exhibit increased business in dollar terms compared to the same week last year.

Retail type Week ending 24 May; compared to same week last year 
Food, Liquor & Pharmacies +13.8% 
Hospitality & Accommodation -25.4%
Fuel & Automotive -27.3%
Clothing, Footwear & Dept. Stores +21.5%
Home & Recreational Retailing +47.7%
International -53.2%
Domestic +4.7%
NZ, All Spending +2.4%

 

Spending patterns over time can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1.