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January Retail Sales Increase

January Retail Sales Increase

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 2.9 percent in January 2004, compared with December 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the largest monthly increase since April 2002 and follows flat movements in both December 2003 and November 2003.

Seasonally adjusted sales for the core retailing group (which excludes the four motor vehicle related industries) increased 1.9 percent in January 2004, compared with the previous month.

Eighteen of the 24 retail industries recorded increases in seasonally adjusted sales in January 2004, compared with December 2003. The largest dollar value increases occurred in automotive fuel retailing (up $32 million) and motor vehicle retailing (up $25 million). The largest decrease occurred in accommodation (down $12 million). Two industries recorded relatively unchanged sales this month.

The total retail sales trend continued its steady upward movement with an increase of 0.4 percent in January 2004, compared with December 2003.

Total actual retail sales for January 2004 were $4,422 million, 6.9 percent higher than in January 2003.

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician

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