5 Jun 2009

Wholesale trade sales fall

1:54 pm on 5 June 2009

Wholesalers have sold a record low number of goods to retailers, and for lower prices.

Seasonally adjusted wholesale trade sales fell a record 5.9% in the March quarter, more than double the previous largest fall of 2.5% in the December quarter, Statistics New Zealand figures show.

All wholesaling industries experienced declines, with the heaviest fall in sales coming from petroleum products, which fell a record 17%.

Westpac senior economist Doug Steel says because the fall in wholesale trade sales is largely due to prices rather than volumes, he estimates it will only drag down first quarter Gross Domestic Product by about 1.5%.