New Zealand retail sales rose in the third quarter, led by increased spending on vehicles and fuel.

The volume of retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9 per cent in the three months ended September 30, slowing from a 2.2 per cent rise in the June quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Sales volumes increased in motor vehicle and parts retailing, up 3.4 per cent, with fuel retailing increasing 2.2 per cent. Ten of the 15 industries surveyed had higher sales volumes this quarter, with the largest increase in accommodation, up 4.7 per cent, the agency said.

Nine of the 15 industries had higher sales values in the quarter, led by motor vehicle and parts retailing which rose 3 per cent to $85m. Increased sales volumes for vehicles and fuel accounted for almost three-quarters of the September quarter's total increase, Stats NZ said.

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The retail trade survey release was originally scheduled for last Wednesday but was delayed after last Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks damaged its Wellington base to the extent that it could be up to a year before it can be reoccupied.

On an unadjusted basis, the volume of retail spending rose 4.7 per cent to $20.1b in the September quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015.