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Quarterly Sales Buoyed by Core Retailing

Embargoed until 10:45am – 15 November 2006

Quarterly Sales Buoyed by Core Retailing

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 1.0 percent in the September 2006 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This quarter’s increase was buoyed by a 1.8 percent increase for the core retailing group (which excludes vehicle-related sales). Overall, vehicle-related sales declined 0.9 percent.

The rise in core retail sales came from across-the-board increases in the food and beverage-related industries, which account for almost half of core retail sales. Sales for six of these industries were boosted by larger than usual price increases this quarter. The two largest sales increases for the core retailing group were in supermarket and grocery stores, and cafes and restaurants.

Vehicle-related sales were down 0.9 percent in the September 2006 quarter, as both motor vehicle and automotive fuel retailing recorded decreases. In each case, the decrease was almost entirely price driven.

Prices fell for each of these industries, while motor vehicle retailing volumes increased, and automotive fuel retailing volumes remained constant.

The total retail sales trend has shown signs of easing over the past year, with smaller quarterly increases recorded since September 2005. The decline in motor vehicle sales has been a contributing factor in the easing of this trend.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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