“This month’s increase in core retail was driven by durables and was the largest since June 2011,” acting industry and labour statistics manager at Standards New Zealand, Tehseen Islam, said in a statement.
The two largest industry movements were durables, up $29 million (2.8 per cent) and consumables, up $9 million (0.6 per cent) in August over July.
“Given strong consumer confidence readings over the year to date, higher spending on big ticket or discretionary items is not surprising, and is likely to continue,” said ASB economist Daniel Smith in a note.
“The impact of the housing market can also be seen in higher spending on durable goods, which people often buy to furnish a new house.
“Higher house prices may also be contributing to households’ willingness to spend, although the impact has seemingly been modest so far,” said Smith.
Core retail transactions increased 1.1 percent in August 2013, after adjusting for seasonal effects, over July.
In unadjusted terms, there were 113 million transactions across all industries in August, with an average value of $51. The total amount spent across all transactions was $5.8 billion.