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Retail Trade Survey: August 2004

Retail Trade Survey: August 2004

14 October 2004

Retail Sales Unchanged in August

Retail sales, when adjusted for seasonal variations, showed zero growth in August 2004, compared with July 2004, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows increases of 1.1 percent in July 2004 and 1.3 percent in June 2004.

Excluding the motor vehicle-related industries, seasonally adjusted sales were 0.3 percent lower in August 2004 than in the previous month. Ten of the 24 retail industries recorded increases in seasonally adjusted sales for the month. Recreational goods retailing recorded the largest dollar value increase (up $12 million), followed by automotive fuel retailing (up $10 million). Department stores recorded the largest decrease (down $10 million). Sales for other food retailing, and appliances were relatively unchanged this month.

The trend has been increasing since May 1998, with an average monthly increase of 0.6 percent.

However, the trend appears to have flattened slightly over the last few months. In August 2004 the total retail sales trend increased 0.3 percent, compared with July 2004. All regions, except Canterbury, recorded growth in the underlying sales trend in August 2004, compared with July 2004. The largest increases were in the Auckland and Remainder of the South Island regions, both increasing 0.7 percent. Canterbury recorded a decrease of 0.3 percent. The trends for the total North Island and total South Island increased 0.5 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Total actual retail sales for August 2004 were $4,458 million, 7.8 percent higher than in August 2003.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

ENDS

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