New Zealand wholesale trade rose in the third quarter led by sales of basic materials such as agricultural products and motor vehicles and auto parts.
Seasonally adjusted sales rose 1 per cent in the three months ended September 30, following a 1.7 per cent gain in the second quarter which was the fastest pace in two years, Statistics New Zealand figures show. Actual wholesale stocks rose 2.1 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2015.
Wholesale trade covers intermediary transactions between manufacturers and consumers, which feeds into the national accounts and is used by economists to predict wider economic activity. Statistics NZ changed its methodology in collecting data for the September survey to use more administrative data and reduce its reliance on surveys, while also ending its split of raw materials and finished goods in measuring total stocks. In the latest period, five of six wholesale industries recorded gains.
Basic materials, which spans agricultural, mineral, metal and chemical, and timber and hardware goods and products, rose 1.8 per cent, led by supplies of agricultural products, the second quarterly gain after two declines, partly reflecting the revival in prices of dairy products that has prompted dairy companies to lift their forecast payout to farmers. Sales of motor vehicles and parts rose 3.7 per cent and machinery and equipment sales gained 1.7 per cent.
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Grocery, liquor and tobacco products rose 0.4 per cent, commission-based sales gained 7.7 per cent and other goods wholesaling slipped 0.2 per cent.
Actual wholesale trade sales of $24.2 billion in the September quarter were up 2.4 per cent from the same period last year. The total value of wholesale stocks held at September 30 was $10.8b, up 2.1 per cent from a year earlier.