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Supermarkets lift retail sales


13 March 2008

Supermarkets lift retail sales

In January 2008, seasonally adjusted total retail sales rose slightly, up 0.3 percent ($18 million), Statistics New Zealand said today. This month’s increase was largely due to a 2.1 percent ($25 million) increase in the supermarket and grocery stores industry.

This is the largest retail industry, accounting for about one-fifth of total retail sales. Excluding the four vehicle-related industries, core retail sales also rose 0.3 percent in January. Fifteen of the 24 retail industries recorded decreased sales in January 2008. However, the majority of these decreases were small, with only three industries falling by more than $4 million.

The largest decreases were in appliance retailing, takeaway food retailing and department stores. The remaining nine industries had sales increases, the largest of which were supermarket and grocery stores and bars and clubs.

The trend for total retail sales continues to rise at a steady rate, bolstered by the recent strong rise in automotive fuel retailing sales. The total trend would be rising at a slower pace if this industry was excluded. The core retail sales trend has flattened since April 2007. The last time the core retailing trend remained flat for a similar period of time was between mid-1997 and mid-1998. Seasonally adjusted sales rose for all regions except Waikato, which fell slightly. Wellington recorded its largest increase since June 2004, up 2.8 percent in January 2008. Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

13 March 2008

ENDS


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