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Sales volumes down in December quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  14 February 2011

Retail Trade Survey: December 2010 quarter  –  Media Release

The seasonally adjusted volume of total retail sales fell 0.4 percent in the December 2010 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The volume of core retailing sales (which excludes the two vehicle-related industries) was flat, up less than 0.1 percent.

“This quarter’s fall in the total retail sales volume follows a similar-sized fall in the September 2010 quarter," business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "Conversely, core retailing has recorded increased sales volumes for the seventh consecutive quarter.”

The value of total retail sales was flat in the December 2010 quarter, down just 0.1 percent ($12 million).

Vehicle-related industries recorded the largest movements in both sales volumes and values in the December 2010 quarter. Fuel retailing had the largest sales volume rise (up 6.4 percent), while the sales value increased 10.4 percent, due to price increases. Largely offsetting these increases was an 8.2 percent fall in the motor vehicles and parts retailing sales volume, while the sales value also decreased 8.2 percent.

The core retailing sales volume and value were both flat in the December 2010 quarter, up less than 0.1 percent and down 0.1 percent respectively. Supermarket and grocery stores had the largest sales movements within the core industries, with the volume up 1.9 percent and the value up 2.4 percent.

In the December 2010 month, the seasonally adjusted total retail sales value decreased 1.1 percent ($60 million), following a 1.2 percent increase in November. December's decrease was predominantly driven by core retailing, which fell 1.2 percent ($51 million).

This release is the first quarter under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06). From this quarter's release, volumes are expressed in September 2010 quarter prices.

Statistics NZ is changing the current monthly retail trade survey to a quarterly survey of retail sales and stocks. This is the last release of monthly retail trade data.

For more information on sales movements, please see the Retail Trade Survey: December 2010 quarter Hot Off the Press information release.

Geoff Bascand 14 February 2011
Government Statistician


For media enquiries contact:
Louise Holmes-Oliver
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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