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Retail Sales Trend Flattens

Retail Trade Survey: February 2001

Retail sales, when adjusted for seasonal variations, increased by 0.9 per cent in February 2001 compared with January 2001, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows a fall in January 2001 compared with December 2000. Despite this monthly volatility the underlying sales trend appears to have flattened over the past few months, increasing by 1.0 per cent since October 2000. This compares with a relatively sharper increase of 2.1 per cent in the previous four months, from June to October 2000.

Increases this month are broadly based, with 11 of the 15 storetypes recording a rise in seasonally adjusted sales when compared with January 2001. The food retailing storetype made the most significant contribution to the overall $33 million increase in February when compared with January 2001, followed by the motor vehicle services and the recreational goods storetypes.

Seasonally adjusted retail sales for the core retailing group (excluding the motor vehicle storetypes) increased by $25 million (up 0.9 per cent) in February when compared with January 2001.

All six regions recorded annual growth in the trend series. The largest increases were recorded in the Waikato and South Island regions excluding Canterbury, which increased by 9.4 and 8.2 per cent, respectively, since February 2000. Auckland increased by 3.4 per cent, Wellington by 3.7 per cent and Canterbury by 6.0 per cent over the same period.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END


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