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Retail Sales Increase

Statistics New Zealand's retail trade figures for September 1999 show the underlying sales trend is strengthening. Since the beginning of this year the trend has increased 4.6 per cent.

An $85 million rise in seasonally adjusted sales was recorded between August and September 1999. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase and is the largest since April 1997. Fourteen of the 15 storetypes contributed to the rise. The accommodation, hotels and liquor and the motor vehicle storetypes made the largest dollar contributions to this growth.

Recent events such as the APEC leader's meeting, the World Netball Championships and the America's Cup build up, together with the general increase in tourist numbers contributed to the increase in sales by the accommodation, hotels and liquor storetype, particularly in the Auckland and Canterbury regional council areas. The shift in the timing of school holidays may also have contributed to the increase in September sales.

The effect of strong increases in residential building permits over the last two quarters is beginning to show in the quarterly seasonally adjusted series. Department stores, clothing and softgoods (particularly fabric and softgoods), hardware and appliance retailing all recorded increases, most following decreases in the June 1999 quarter.

Twelve of the fifteen storetypes covered by the survey reported increased stock levels at the end of the month compared with the same time last year.


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