Results from the December 2011 Retail Trade Survey are out from Statistics New Zealand - and they are all pointing in the right direction if we wanted the Rugby World Cup to have had the desired effect. And yes, Statistics New Zealand has attributed the positive figures, at least in part, to the presence of the RWC - notably those of supermarket and fuel sales. I wonder what happened to accommodation, and cafes/bars/restaurants? Takeaways? Movies? Oh yes - we spent less on movies during the RWC (the substitution effect).
I took the aggregate seasonally adjusted figures from the HOTP release and did a quick calculation - the graph below shows the quarterly and year on year percentage changes in retail sales.
A quick glance sees that although there has been a healthy 2% increase from quarter to quarter throughout 2011, the yearly percentage increase has grown since December 2010, and has been slowing since March 2011. Yes, it is still positive, but when you bear in mind that the yearly percentage increase in the December 2011 quarter is compared directly to the impact of the first Christchurch earthquakes, then it takes a little of the sheen off.