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The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand gained a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2019, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday.

That was shy of expectations for an increase of 0.8 percent and down from the upwardly revised 1.7 percent gain in the three months prior (originally 1.6 percent).

The total value of retail sales was up 1.1 percent on quarter or NZ$268 million.

Nine of the 15 industries had higher sales volumes in the December 2019 quarter.

Electrical and electronic goods had the largest increase, up 4.3 percent following a 4.4 percent rise in the September quarter and a strong 5.2 percent rise in June.

The next largest increase was in pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing, up 4.1 percent this quarter after a 2.8 percent rise in the September 2019 quarter.

Department stores had the largest fall, down 3.8 percent this quarter after a 3.8 percent rise in the September 2019 quarter.

Supermarket and grocery stores had the second largest fall, down 1.1 percent this quarter, after a 0.9 percent rise in September.

Pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing had the largest increase in retail sales value this quarter, up 3.7 percent (NZ$56 million) when the effects of price changes are included. This followed a 2.4 percent (NZ$35 million) rise in the September quarter.

The next largest increases came from accommodation, up 4.3 percent (NZ$46 million) after a 0.6 percent (NZ$6.8 million) rise in the September quarter.

Department stores had the largest fall in the December quarter, down 3.0 percent (NZ$41million) after a 2.4 percent (NZ$32 million) rise in September.

Thirteen regions had higher retail sales values in the December 2019 quarter compared with the September 2019 quarter. The Auckland region had the largest rise this quarter, up 1.7 percent (NZ$152 million).

The Waikato region had the second largest increase in retail sales value, up 1.9 percent (NZ$42 million), followed by Otago, up 2.4 percent (NZ$32million).

Hawke's Bay, Tasman, and West Coast regions had decreases in retail sales values, but the movements were under NZ$2 million.

The sales value for the total North Island regions rose 1.3 percent (NZ$247 million) after a rise of 1.4 percent (NZ$260 million) in the September 2019 quarter.

The sales value for the total South Island regions rose 1.0 percent (NZ$56 million) after a rise of 0.9 percent (NZ$55 million) in the September 2019 quarter.

Stock figures were recorded at 31 December 2019. All references to stocks are in actual dollars.

The total value of stock held at 31 December 2019 was NZ$8.4 billion, resulting in an increase of 2.6 percent (NZ$216 million) from stock held at 31 December 2018.

Eleven of the 15 retail industries recorded stock increases in December 2019 compared with 2018.

The largest increases came from hardware, building, and garden supplies, up 5.5 percent (NZ$62 million), and clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing, up 5.3 percent (NZ$37 million).