18 May 2009

No quick fix for retail sales, warns economist

7:46 am on 18 May 2009

Retailers are being warned a turnaround in sales is at least three years away - and some forecasters say that's optimistic.

Retail volumes plunged a record 2.9% in the March quarter, the sixth consecutive quarterly fall in retail sales.

BNZ Capital markets economist Mark Walton says rising unemployment will curb household spending, so it may take until 2012 before consumer spending is close to the peaks of 2007.

He says there is not likely to be any further fall in quarterly sales volumes, but nor will there be any rapid growth.