Retail Sales Continue to Grow
Statistics New Zealand's retail trade figures show the trend in retail sales has now been growing since mid-1998. Total sales have increased 7.1 per cent since October 1998. Over the past three months only furniture and floorcovering and footwear retailing have recorded a fall in sales.
With seasonal patterns removed, sales for the October month decreased 0.7 per cent, following a 2.3 per cent increase in September. The timing of school holidays contributed to the strong September and weak October result. Last year school holidays fell partly in October but this year fell almost entirely in September. School holidays traditionally effect accommodation, hotels and liquor, and cafe, restaurants and takeaways outlets. This month is no exception with these storetypes both recording decreases in seasonally adjusted sales.
Although, seasonally adjusted sales decreased for accommodation, hotels and liquor retailing in October 1999, the sales trend has increased steadily in the last year. This growth is supported by record numbers of short-term international visitors, with both September and October 1999 surpassing the previous high in December 1996.