14 May 2010

Dollar slips after weak retail, house data

11:47 pm on 14 May 2010

The New Zealand dollar fell 0.25 cents on Friday following fresh evidence that consumers remain cautious about the economic recovery, on sluggish retail and house sales in April.

Retail spending rose a seaonally-adjusted 0.2% in April compared with March, but the increase was weaker than economists were expecting.

Meanwhile, house prices and sales slipped in April.

Real Estate Institute figures put the national median house price 1.2% lower at $356,000, though this is still nearly 5% higher than a year ago.

Sales by the institute's members fell 16% and the time taken to sell a property increased from 35 to 40 days.

The New Zealand dollar fell to about 71.25 US cents following the release of the data on Friday. At 5.20pm, it was trading at 71.37 US cents.