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Retail Trade Survey: February 2005

Retail Trade Survey: February 2005

14 April 2005

Retail Sales Continue Growth The total retail sales trend was up 0.6 percent in February 2005 from January 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. The trend has maintained steady growth since May 1998, with an average monthly rise of 0.6 percent. The trends for the total North Island and total South Island increased 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. All regions, except Auckland, recorded trend growth this month.

In 2004, Waitangi Day fell on a Friday, giving many New Zealanders a long weekend. Waitangi Day fell on a Sunday this year, so there was no extra weekday holiday. Auckland Anniversary fell on 31 January in 2005, whereas there are usually a few days between this long weekend and the beginning of February. These changes may have affected purchasing patterns. Sixteen of the 24 retail storetypes recorded higher seasonally adjusted sales in February 2005 compared with January 2005.

Motor vehicle retailing was up $35 million, the largest dollar value increase and 43 percent of the total monthly increase. This increase was partly offset by automotive fuel retailing, which recorded the largest decrease (down $14 million). Thirteen of the 24 storetypes recorded small changes ($3 million or less).

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 1.7 percent in February 2005 compared with January 2005. Excluding the motor vehicle-related industries, seasonally adjusted retail sales were 1.6 percent higher in February 2005 than in the previous month. Total actual retail sales for February 2005 were $4,526 million, 7.0 percent higher than in February 2004.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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