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Goods Maintain Growth in Retail Sales

Retail Trade Survey: March 2005 quarter

Goods Maintain Growth in Retail Sales

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 2.0 percent in the March 2005 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Nineteen of the 24 retail industries recorded higher sales this quarter, with most of the increase coming from goods retailing industries.

The most significant upward contributions to this quarter's movement were supermarket and grocery stores (up 1.7 percent) and automotive fuel retailing (up 3.6 percent). The largest downward contribution came from bars and clubs (down 4.0 percent).

The latest quarterly movement is the result of strong increases in January and February, followed by a decrease in March. The entire Easter weekend occurred within March for the first time since 1997. As a result, purchasing patterns in some industries may have been affected.

The increase in seasonally adjusted sales was lower after removing price effects, up 1.3 percent.

The retail trade deflators show that the most significant price increases came from accommodation (up 2.7 percent) and motor vehicle retailing (up 2.1 percent).

Continuing its steady increase since the June 1998 quarter, the retail sales trend was up 1.9 percent in the March 2005 quarter compared with the December 2004 quarter. On a regional basis, the strongest growth came from the Canterbury region (up 4.2 percent).

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

END

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