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Retail Spending Subdued in January

14 March 2006

Retail Trade Survey: January 2006

Retail Spending Subdued in January

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales remained unchanged in January 2006 compared with December 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a decrease of 0.3 percent in December and an increase of 0.8 percent in November.

Excluding the vehicle-related industries, sales for the core retailing group were up 0.1 percent ($5 million) in January 2006. Fifteen of the 24 retail industries decreased in January 2006. Industries recording the largest decreases were supermarket and grocery stores (down 1.5 percent or $15 million) and motor vehicle retailing (down 1.5 percent or $10 million). The largest increase was for department stores (up 11.8 percent or $32 million).

The sales trend for total retail sales has been increasing since May 1998, with an average monthly increase of 0.5 percent. However, in recent months the trend has flattened, with the average monthly increase reducing to 0.2 percent over the six months to January 2006.

On a regional basis, the trend for Auckland and the Remainder of the North Island regions decreased, while for the South Island and Wellington regions the trend increased.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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