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Thread: Shoppers tightening purse strings

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    Default Shoppers tightening purse strings

    Retail sales down more than expected
    11:30AM Monday April 14, 2008
    Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

    Shoppers tightened their purse strings again in February, as a tougher economic outlook caused people to exercise caution in their retail spending.

    The hardest-hit industry was motor vehicle sales.

    Retail sales slumped by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 per cent in February, figures published by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today show.

    The drop, which followed a 0.3 per cent increase in January, caught economists by surprise, with the median prediction for February in a Reuters poll having been for an increase of 0.3 per cent.

    With the four vehicle-related industries excluded, core retail sales did increase, adding 0.2 per cent, compared to the forecast of a 0.4 per cent gain.

    However, it's worth noting that February did have an extra day this year, due to Leap Year.

    More here .
    Mother Bear

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    Food prices ramp up March quarter inflation
    11:40AM Tuesday April 15, 2008
    By Brian Fallow

    Inflation accelerated in the March quarter, with nearly half the damage done by higher food prices.

    The consumers price index rose 0.7 per cent in the quarter, of which higher food prices contributed 0.34 percentage points and petrol 0.2 percentage points, Statistics New Zealand reported.

    It pushed the annual inflation rate to 3.4 per cent, up from 3.2 per cent in December and further outside the Reserve Bank's target band of 1 to 3 per cent.

    For the year ended March the 20.5 per cent rise in petrol prices was a key contributor. Had petrol prices remained unchanged inflation would have been 2.5 per cent.

    More here .
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    Think your shopping bill is high? It'll get worse
    5:00AM Wednesday April 16, 2008
    By Brooke Donovan

    Shoppers can expect no relief from skyrocketing food prices as long as the global price of food production continues to rise, experts said yesterday.

    Food prices provided the most significant contribution to the 0.7 per cent on-quarter rise in the Consumer Price Index, which is key to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's deliberations on interest rates.

    Statistics New Zealand said food prices rose 1.8 per cent in the three months to the end of March, with the main contribution coming from grocery food, which rose 3.6 per cent.

    Within the grocery food category the main increases came from cheese, bread and butter - and the numbers confirmed what many New Zealanders have known for some time.

    More here .
    Mother Bear

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