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Retail sales slow down across all sectors

23
Oct '06
Underlying growth in retail sales slowed further in September, following the slight slowdown reported last month. Reductions in growth were evident across all retailing sectors.

The volume of retail sales in the three months July to September was 0.8 per cent higher than in the previous three months. This follows 1.5 per cent growth in the three months to August and compares with an increase of 0.4 per cent at the same time in 2005.

Three-monthly growth in sales volume was 0.9 per cent for food stores and 0.5 per cent for non-food stores, the lowest growth for non-food stores since April this year. Within non-food stores growth for all sectors remained positive except for household goods stores, where sales decreased by 0.4 per cent. Non-store retailers reported the highest growth at 1.7 per cent with clothing stores up 1.4 per cent. Compared with the same period a year ago, total sales volumes in the three months to September 2006 were up 3.8 per cent.

Analysis of monthly figures shows that the total sales volume decreased by 0.4 per cent between August and September, the first monthly fall since January 2006. The biggest contributions to the fall came from household goods stores and non-store retailers, where sales fell by 2.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively, following a relatively strong August for both sectors. There were also decreases for non-specialised stores and clothing stores, offset by a 0.8 per cent increase for food stores. Thetotal volume of sales in September was 3.2 per cent higher than in September 2005.


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