Spending in those sectors has topped $2 billion for the first time.
Retail and hospitality sales in Christchurch for the December 2014 quarter were $2 billion, a 4.1 percent increase compared with the same quarter in 2013. This compares with an increase of 4.7 percent at the national level.
For Christchurch city, after seasonal fluctuations are removed, retail and hospitality sales increased 1.1 percent in the December 2014 quarter, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent at the national level.
Christchurch’s retail and hospitality has outpaced the rest of New Zealand in terms of long-term trends. Its retail and hospitality sales have risen 26 percent since before the quakes began, compared with a national rise of 19 percent.
Business indicators manager Neil Kelly said “robust spending” in hospitality businesses has contributed to the city’s total growth in the December quarter.
Statistics New Zealand issued a similarly positive report last year, with industry and labour statistics manager Tehseen Islam then saying that growth in Christchurch fell behind national figures following the earthquakes in September 2010, but strong growth saw it push ahead.
Last year’s sales were driven by hardware, building, and garden supplies, and motor vehicle retailing.
Stuff.co.nz spoke last week with Bill Luff, who is the new chairman of iconic Christchurch department store Ballantynes. He said the board was now plotting a path to continued prosperity in post-quake Christchurch, and looking at all sorts of new ideas for the business in a strategic review.
Luff highlighted car parking as a key consideration for the store, also mentioning a possible “buy local” focus on food and beverages, and own-branded homewares. An increased focus on food and drink and a rethink of Ballantynes’ fashion offering could be on the cards, as could a second or third storey on the top of the Cashel St building.