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March Quarter Retail Sales Increase 1.7 Percent

March Quarter Retail Sales Increase 1.7 Percent

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 1.7 percent in the March 2003 quarter compared with the December 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was the result of monthly increases of 1.2 percent in January, 0.5 percent in February and a decrease of 0.7 percent in March.

Nine of the 15 storetypes recorded higher seasonally adjusted sales, compared with the December 2002 quarter. The largest contributors to the increase in seasonally adjusted sales were the motor vehicle services and food retailing storetypes. The appliance retailing storetype, which fell by 4.1 percent, recorded the largest decrease.

The volume of total seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 1.0 percent in the March 2003 quarter, compared with the December 2002 quarter. This follows increases of 1.3 percent in the
December 2002 quarter and 1.2 percent in the September 2002 quarter.

Regional growth remains positive this quarter, with all regions recording higher seasonally adjusted sales compared with the December 2002 quarter. The largest percentage increase in seasonally adjusted sales occurred in the Remainder of the South Island region, up 2.8 percent.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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