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Retail Sales Growth Continues

Retail Sales Growth Continues

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 1.6 percent in October 2003, compared with September 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the highest monthly increase since April 2002 and follows increases of 0.4 percent in September 2003 and 0.5 percent in August 2003. Seasonally adjusted sales for the core retailing group (which excludes the motor vehicle retailing and motor vehicle services storetypes) increased 1.8 percent in October 2003, compared with the previous month.

Twelve of the 15 storetypes recorded increases in seasonally adjusted sales in October 2003, compared with September 2003. The largest dollar value increase occurred in the food retailing storetype (up $36 million) and the recreational goods storetype (up $8 million). Of the three storetypes that recorded lower sales, the largest decrease occurred in the department stores storetype (down $1 million).

Five of the six regions recorded higher seasonally adjusted sales in October 2003, compared with September 2003. The Auckland region recorded the largest dollar value increase (up $35 million) while the Canterbury region was virtually unchanged. Seasonally adjusted sales for the Total North Island increased $58 million and the Total South Island recorded an increase of $8 million over the same period.

The trend continued its steady upward movement with an increase of 0.5 percent in October 2003, compared with September 2003. This is similar to the average monthly movement over the past five years.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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