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Christchurch retailing resilient after earthquakes – Retail in Asia

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Christchurch retailing resilient after earthquakes

Christchurch retail activity is showing resilience after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday. The earthquakes had a substantial impact on the retail sector.

"The 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February 2011, in particular, led to a drop in Christchurch retail activity in the March 2011 quarter," said industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno.

"However, retail trade activity rebounded in the June 2011 quarter."

For Christchurch city, after seasonal fluctuations are removed:

  • Retail trade activity fell 4.2 percent in the March 2011 quarter.
  • In the June 2011 quarter there was a ‘bounce-back’ effect, with activity rising by a particularly strong 8.1 percent.
  • In the last two quarters of 2011 retail activity was flat (down just 0.5 percent since the June 2011 quarter).

When unadjusted retail activity is aggregated for March and June 2011 quarters, the value is little changed from that in recent years. The rebound effect for the June 2011 quarter was largely due to retail activity coming off the March 2011 quarter’s lower base.

Although Christchurch largely maintained the June 2011 quarter’s rebound in the last two quarters of 2011, the city did not have the strong retail growth experienced nationally (up 4.2 percent).

The accommodation and food services industry continued to show subdued activity through 2011, with many buildings being off-limit or demolished.

The Christchurch retail trade indicator is a new experimental series. It is released by Statistics NZ to provide information on the state of the Christchurch retail trade industry after the Canterbury earthquakes. Because the statistics reflect new methods that may be modified, they are released on a provisional basis.

Statistics NZ said this new activity measure includes sales of retail goods and services, together with some other income such as sales of capital items and businesses, and insurance payouts resulting from the earthquakes.