Wellington, Feb 15 (IANS) Fuel purchases drove the highest quarterly rise in six years in the volume of New Zealand retail sales in the December quarter last year, the government statistics agency announced Friday.
The volume of total retail sales rose 2.1 percent compared with the September 2012 quarter, the highest quarterly rise in sales volumes since the December 2006 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.
"Twelve of the 15 retail industries had higher sales volumes in the latest quarter," business statistics manager Blair Cardno said in a statement.
The December quarter increase was led by a 7.7-percent increase in fuel retailing, followed by significant increases in hardware, building, and garden supplies retailing; motor-vehicle and parts retailing; and department stores, reported Xinhua.
The only notable decrease was for recreational goods retailing, which fell 2.9 percent.
It was the second large increase in a row for the hardware, building, and garden supplies industry, which was again boosted by stronger than usual sales in the earthquake-battered Canterbury region, Cardno said.
The value of total retail sales rose 1.7 percent, following a drop of 0.6 percent in the September quarter.