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Wholesale Activity Declines in September Quarter

Seasonally adjusted sales decreased 0.3 percent in the September 2002 quarter compared with the June 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows an increase of 1.2 percent in the June 2002 quarter, and an increase of 3.3 percent in the March 2002 quarter.

Machinery and equipment (down $126 million), and petroleum and petroleum products (down $104 million) had the largest decreases in seasonally adjusted sales in the September 2002 quarter, compared with the June 2002 quarter. These decreases were partly offset by the increases in seasonally adjusted sales in primary product food (up $111 million), and building materials, supplies and hardware wholesaling (up $100 million).

Wholesale trade seasonally adjusted stocks for the September 2002 quarter increased by 3.0 percent compared with the June 2002 quarter. This follows a decrease of 2.8 percent in the June 2002 quarter, and an increase of 4.8 percent in the March 2002 quarter.

The Wholesale Trade Survey is undergoing a redesign to account for changes in the wholesale trade industry since the last redesign in 1995. The redesigned survey will make use of administrative data (GST returns) from the Inland Revenue Department to reduce the compliance costs for small businesses. The use of this administrative data has enabled Statistics New Zealand to reduce the sample size of the survey by approximately 30 percent, while maintaining required levels of accuracy. Results from the redesigned survey will be published next quarter.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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