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Retail Sales Decrease 0.4 Percent in November

Retail Sales Decrease 0.4 Percent in November

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales decreased 0.4 percent in November 2003, compared with October 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the first monthly decrease since March 2003 and follows increases of 1.4 percent in October 2003 and 0.4 percent in September 2003. Seasonally adjusted sales for the core retailing group (which excludes the four motor vehicle related industries) decreased 0.6 percent in November 2003, compared with the previous month.

Eleven of the 24 retail industries recorded increases in seasonally adjusted sales in November 2003, compared with October 2003. The largest dollar value increases occurred in the automotive fuel retailing industry (up $16 million) and the recreational goods retailing industry (up $10 million). Of the 13 industries that recorded lower sales, the largest decrease occurred in the supermarket and grocery stores industry (down $27 million).

Seasonally adjusted sales for the Total North Island decreased $11 million in November 2003, compared with October 2003, and the Total South Island recorded an increase of $1 million over the same period. The total retail sales trend continued its steady upward movement with an increase of 0.3 percent in November 2003, compared with October 2003.

This is the first monthly release of data from the redesigned Retail Trade Survey. The redesign incorporates a number of methodological enhancements aimed at improving the reliability and quality of the results of the survey, while reducing the overall respondent load.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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