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Subdued Retail Sales For November

Retail Trade Survey: November 2000

Seasonally adjusted retail sales declined by 0.2 per cent in November 2000, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand. However, when the motor vehicle retailing and services storetypes are excluded, the core-retailing group had the same level of sales in November as October 2000. The underlying sales trend for retail sales remains positive, continuing an upward path which began in June 1998.

Nine of the 15 storetypes recorded lower seasonally adjusted sales in November than in October. Falls range from 4.5 per cent for clothing and softgoods to 0.3 per cent for the motor vehicle services storetype. However, the dollar value movements were in a narrow band with the largest decrease recorded by motor vehicle retailing, down $6 million and clothing and softgoods, also down $6 million.

The largest percentage increase in seasonally adjusted sales was recorded by personal and household services, up 1.8 per cent in November. However the largest positive dollar value contribution to the overall movement in retail sales was food retailing, up $12 million or 1.5 per cent. This increase appears to largely reflect price increases, with the Food Price Index rising 1.1 per cent over the same period.

In the regions, the South Island recorded an increase of 1.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted sales when compared to October 2000. With the exception of Wellington which recorded no change, all North Island regions had lower seasonally adjusted sales in November.

The sales trend for the total North Island has increased 10.7 per cent since the beginning of 1999, after a three-year plateau. In contrast the sales trend for the total South Island has increased 13.8 per cent over the same period, off a two-year plateau. The North Island, however, has three quarters of the total dollar spend. This proportion has been largely consistent since the beginning of the current retail trade series in March 1990.



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