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Fuel and motor vehicles lift retail sales

Embargoed until 10:45am – 18 January 2008

Fuel and motor vehicles lift retail sales

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 2.0 percent in November 2007, Statistics New Zealand said today. Most of the increase was due to automotive fuel retailing and motor vehicle retailing. The 2.0 percent increase is the largest monthly increase since February 2007, when total sales rose 2.3 percent, and follows a decrease of 0.6 percent in October 2007.

Automotive fuel retailing sales increased 9.0 percent, the largest monthly increase for this industry since the series began in May 1995. Motor vehicle retailing sales increased 4.3 percent, but sales in this industry are volatile and increases or decreases of this magnitude are not unusual.

Core retailing, which excludes the four vehicle-related industries, increased 0.9 percent in November 2007.

The largest increase in core retailing sales was in supermarket and grocery stores.

Three-quarters of the 24 retail industries had only modest movements, rising or falling less than $5 million.

The trend for total retail sales has been increasing since May 1998.

Increased sales were recorded in the North Island regions and in Canterbury in November 2007 compared with October. In the Remainder of the South Island there was a slight decrease. The sales trend in Auckland, which has been declining in recent months, appears now to be rising.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
18 January 2008


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