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Retail Sales Fall In May

Retail Trade Survey: May 2002

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales decreased 1.2 percent in May 2002 compared with April 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. The core retailing group (which excludes the motor vehicle services and retailing storetypes) fell 0.8 percent in May 2002 compared with April 2002.

The decrease in seasonally adjusted sales this month is the second this year (sales fell 0.5 percent in March) and follows a 2.5 percent increase in April. The sales figures in March and April may have been influenced by the timing of Easter, which fell in March this year rather than in April.

This month's decreases in seasonally adjusted sales were widespread, with 10 out of the 15 storetypes recording lower sales this month compared with April 2002. The largest falls occurred in the motor vehicle retailing and department stores storetypes.

Four out of the six major regions recorded decreases in seasonally adjusted sales this month. The Wellington and the Rest of the South Island regions were the exceptions, with sales remaining virtually unchanged from last month.

Despite this month's fall in sales, the total sales trend remains positive and continues a pattern of growth seen since May 1998.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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