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Retail sales up, trend flat

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Embargoed until 10:45am – 13 June 2008

Retail sales up, trend flat

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales rose 1.0 percent ($52 million) in April 2008, Statistics New Zealand said today. This followed a 1.2 percent fall in March 2008. Core retail sales (which excludes the vehiclerelated industries) fell 0.5 percent ($19 million).

The total retail sales trend, which has been rising since June 1998 at an average rate of 0.5 percent per month, has flattened to an average of 0.1 percent between February 2008 and April 2008.

Fourteen of the 24 retail industries recorded higher sales in April 2008 than in March 2008. Motor vehicle retailing rose 8.1 percent ($51 million). This rise was partly offset by a fall of 3.6 percent ($43 million) in supermarket and grocery stores.

The total retail sales trend for the North Island has been decreasing an average of 0.2 percent per month since February 2008. The trend for the South Island has started to flatten.

Easter has the potential to affect the seasonally adjusted retail trade figures when it falls in March (rather than April), as it has in 2008. An analysis determined that the effect of Easter was minimal in relation to the normal level of variability in the Retail Trade series. Accordingly, no explicit adjustment for Easter has been made in the Retail Trade series.

Dallas Welch (Mrs)
Acting Government Statistician
13 June 2008


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