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Fuel and Food Boost Quarterly Retail Sales

Retail Trade Survey: December 2004 quarter

¡X 14 February 2005 Fuel and Food Boost Quarterly Retail Sales

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 1.1 percent in the December 2004 quarter, compared with the September 2004 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Twelve of the 24 retail storetypes recorded higher seasonally adjusted sales this quarter. Automotive fuel retailing was up $60 million, the largest dollar value increase and 38 percent of the total quarterly increase. It was followed by supermarket and grocery stores (up $37 million), and cafes and restaurants (up $34 million).

The latest quarterly movement is the result of monthly increases of 0.5 percent in October and 0.7 percent in November, followed by a monthly decrease of 0.4 percent in December. December's 1.1 percent quarterly increase is the smallest since the June 2003 quarter, and follows increases of 2.3 percent in the September 2004 quarter and 1.4 percent in the June 2004 quarter. With the effects of price changes removed, seasonally adjusted total retail sales rose 0.7 percent in the December 2004 quarter, compared with the September 2004 quarter. The retail trade deflators showed that prices increased in 18 of the 24 retail industries in the latest quarter.

Continuing the steady increase since the June 1998 quarter, the retail sales trend was up 1.6 percent in the December 2004 quarter, compared with the September 2004 quarter. On a regional basis, the retail sales trend increased 1.6 percent for the total North Island and 1.1 percent for the total South Island. ƒnƒn

Total actual sales for the December 2004 quarter were $15,235 million, 7.4 percent higher than for the December 2003 quarter.

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician

ENDS

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