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Wholesale trade decline continues

Embargoed until 10:45am – 07 December 2009
Wholesale trade decline continues

Seasonally adjusted wholesale trade sales fell for a fifth consecutive quarter, down 0.8 percent ($154 million) in the September 2009 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. "This is the first time that wholesale trade sales have fallen for five quarters", said business statistics manager Louise Holmes- Oliver, " and at $20.2 billion, sales are about the same level as seen nearly three years ago".

The overall picture across the 16 wholesale trade industries was mixed, with nine industries falling and seven increasing in the September 2009 quarter. Driving the overall fall were decreases in: • primary product food wholesaling, down 8.4 percent ($148 million) • farm, construction machinery, and professional business equipment wholesaling, down 6.6 percent ($119 million).

A rise in food and grocery products wholesaling, up 4.1 percent ($172 million), partly offset the overall fall.

The trend in wholesale trade sales has been falling for more than a year, down 10.4 percent since the June 2008 quarter. "This far surpasses the previous largest fall in the trend, which was a drop of 1.1 percent over three quarters of 1996", Mrs Holmes-Oliver said. Latest figures suggest the rate of fall has slowed.

Wholesale trade stocks, also adjusted for seasonal effects, fell a record 5.1 percent ($545 million) in the September 2009 quarter. This is the fourth consecutive quarter to record decreased stocks, and continues the longest and fastest period of decline in stocks since the series began in 1995.

Wholesale Trade Survey Sep09 qtr (pdf)

Wholesale Trade Survey Sep09 qtr - Tables (xls)

ENDS

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