Easter and retail sales

Paymark has reported some interesting results for electronic card sales over March.

In their news story they say the food and liquor are doing well relative to March last year, travel looks soft, and if we adjust for the funky timing of Easter (last year it was in March, this year it is back to its normal April) sales are down a bit.

Now, I remember last March – and I remember Stats NZ said that it wasn’t going to adjust for Easter because, when it comes to retail sales, it isn’t clear what the impact is.

Using my poor memory and a touch of logic, I recall the timing of Easter boosting the sales of specialty foods and tourist related activities – as people were coming around to hang out with family and celebrate Easter in a different month then usual.  In net terms this lead to a movement of these types of sales from April to March.  The place where retail sales did struggle was motor vehicles and the such – however, these aren’t the sort of purchases that turn up in the electronic card numbers.

As a result, today’s figures maybe don’t show such a weak story – maybe tourist spending isn’t quite as bad as they are saying, and maybe food spending is very robust.  I wouldn’t be surprised if liquor spending is strong – as it can be relatively counter-cyclical.  However, it isn’t clear that they should be revising the figures down on the basis of Easter …

7 replies
  1. Bill Bennett
    Bill Bennett says:

    Isn’t this kind of thing the reason we have moving averages? I was going to add quarterly stats, but Easter moves from one quarter to another.

  2. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Good Afternoon everyone,

    I saw the article about Easter and think it is great that so many people are busy making plans and getting excited about the forthcoming festivities. My sister is coming home from America for Easter, so everyone is looking forward to seeing her. Easter is one of those religious festivals that can turn out to be quite stressful, what with all the family over demanding attention, and having to cook lunch for everyone… the list goes on. I always find Easter greetings cards quite expensive, and I really don’t like giving my hard earned cash to those big greetings card companies. So I may have found an alternative solution in the form of electronic greetings cards. Not only do they save paper, and stamps, but as long as you opt for a free site then the Easter e-Card is going to be free. I have done my research and have found a really lovely Free Easter e-Card site. I like this site as I found it so easy to use, which is great because I am not very confident with computers, also I liked the wide range of choice of cards they offer. There are loads of e-Card sites out there, so it maybe worth doing your own research in order to find the best one. Hope everyone has a great Easter whatever you decide to get up to.

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