New Zealand sales up 2.1% vs 1.1% estimates; NZD/USD reaches new 1.5 year high (Barcelona) - New Zealand Q4 retail sales rose to 2.1% against expectations for +1.2%. As stated by Geoff Bascand, Government Statistician at the Burueau of Statistics in New Zealand, for the December 2012 quarter, compared with the September 2012 quarter (seasonally adjusted):

"The total volume of retail sales rose 2.1 percent. The total value of retail sales rose 1.7 percent. Hardware, building, and garden supplies retailing rose strongly for a second consecutive quarter, again boosted by high sales in Canterbury."

The data has boosted the NZD/USD to fresh 1.5 year high, currently at 0.8514.