RTTNews - Retail sales in New Zealand climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.8% month-on-month in May, representing the largest monthly rise since November 2007, the Statistics New Zealand said Monday. This comes after a 0.5% increase in April and above economists' expectations of a 0.2% rise.

The increase in retail sales was mainly due to a 1.6% growth in core retailing sales. The rise in core retail sales, which excludes vehicle related transactions, was the largest since February 2007, coming after it remained flat in April, and was above economists' expectations of a 0.5% growth.

Core retail sales were mainly driven by mainly by a 2.2% rise in sales from supermarkets and grocery stores and a 12.6% increase in clothing and softgoods retailing. The statistical office said 13 of the 20 core industries showed increased sales in May, while the remaining had declines. Meanwhile, sales from vehicle related industries fell 1.8% in May.

On a yearly basis, retail sales were down 2.4% in May, after a 1.7% fall in the preceding month.

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