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Sales values up for second quarter, volumes flat

Embargoed until 10:45am – 12 November 2009

Sales values up for second quarter, volumes flat

The value of seasonally adjusted total retail sales increased 0.5 percent ($82 million) in the September 2009 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the second quarter with increased sales values, following four quarters of decreases. Although sales values were up, volumes were flat (up just 0.1 percent), suggesting that prices, in general, rose this quarter.

The picture for retailing for the September 2009 quarter is mixed, with just over half the industries recording sales increases. The biggest increase in sales value was in supermarket and grocery stores (up 1.1 percent or $41 million), followed by appliance retailing (up 5.1 percent or $32 million). The biggest decreases in sales value were in automotive fuel retailing (down 2.5 percent or $38 million), and department stores (down 3.2 percent or $30 million).

A sizeable increase in appliance retailing volumes (up 6.5 percent) offset decreases in motor vehicle retailing, department stores, and the other retailing industry, to give a flat result overall.

Both the value and the volume of seasonally adjusted core retail sales, which excludes the four vehicle-related industries, increased in the latest quarter. The value was up 0.6 percent ($69 million) and the volume up 0.5 percent.

The trend in the value of total retail sales has risen 1.1 percent since the March 2009 quarter, after falling 2.3 percent in the previous four quarters. The trend in the volume of total retail sales appears to have flattened – after a 6.6 percent decline over the previous eight quarters – up just 0.2 percent in the latest quarter.

In the September 2009 month, compared with August 2009, seasonally adjusted total retail sales were flat, increasing just 0.2 percent. Thirteen of the 20 core retail industries moved, up or down, by less than $3 million.

Retail Trade Survey Sep 09 qtr (pdf)

Retail Trade Survey Sep 09 qtr Tables (xls)


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