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Mixed Results but Retail Trend Remains Positive

Retail Trade Survey: May 2005 - 13 July 2005

Mixed Results but Retail Trend Remains Positive

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales decreased 0.6 percent in May 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows an increase of 0.7 percent in April and a decrease of 0.5 percent in March.

There was a fairly even split between increases and decreases this month, with 10 of the 24 retail industries recording decreases in May 2005, and 12 recording increases. The largest contributions to the May 2005 decrease came from appliance retailing, motor vehicle retailing, and recreational goods retailing. This was partly offset by an increase in department store sales.

The total retail sales trend has been increasing steadily since May 1998. Sales were 6.8 percent higher in May 2005 compared with the previous May. This compares with increases of 8.2 percent in May 2004 and 4.6 percent in May 2003.

Growth between the 2004 and 2005 May months has been strongest in appliance retailing, personal and household goods hiring, and automotive fuel retailing. Household equipment repair services, other personal services, and bars and clubs were relatively flat over the same period.

For the South Island the sales trend was 6.7 percent higher in May 2005 compared with May 2004. For the North Island, it was 5.9 percent higher over the same period. Strongest growth came from the Canterbury, and the remainder of the North Island regions. Brian Pink Government Statistician


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