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Retail Sales Up 0.7 Percent

Retail Trade Survey: April 2005

Retail Sales Up 0.7 Percent

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 0.7 percent in April 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a decrease of 0.3 percent in March and an increase of 1.6 percent in February. Eighteen of the 24 retail industries moved in an opposite direction in April compared with their movement in March. Purchasing patterns in some industries may have been affected by the entire Easter weekend occurring within March, as opposed to April, for the first time since 1997.

The largest upward contributions to this month's increase came from clothing and softgoods retailing (up 7.1 percent or $14 million); auto electrical, smash repair and tyre retailing (up 12.2 percent or $13 million); and appliance retailing (up 4.1 percent or $8 million). These three industries had decreases in March 2005. The largest downward contribution to this month's increase came from department store sales (down 10.9 percent or $33 million).

The retail sales trend has increased steadily since May 1998, with an average monthly increase of 0.5 percent over the period. On a regional basis, since February 2005 the trend has shown strongest growth in the Canterbury and Auckland regions, while growth has been relatively flat for Wellington over the same period.

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician


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