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Weekly Bulletin issue no. 3, 1998 <sti>Stikktittel

Index of retail sales, November 1997:

Decline in food sales

The volume of retail sales in non-specialized stores which mainly sell food, beverages and tobacco declined 5.3 per cent in November 1997 compared to the same month in 1996. November 1997 had one less shopping day than November 1996. For the first time, we are publishing a goods consumption index together with the retail sales index.
The goods consumption index shows a seasonally adjusted decline of 1.2 per cent from October to November. From the end of 1996 to the end of November the goods consumption index increased by two per cent, seasonally adjusted.

The goods consumption index, or trend in household purchases of goods, is mainly influenced by the development of the retail sales index. This means that household consumption of both food, clothing and footwear and durable consumer goods such as furniture etc. was lower in November than in October after taking into account seasonal variations. In addition to the index of retail sales, household purchases of motor vehicles, gasoline, electricity and heating oil are recorded. From October to November purchases of new cars grew by about five per cent after correction for seasonal variations. Household consumption of electricity also showed a weak increase from October to November, while gasoline consumption, conversely, declined.

Index of retail sales

The fact that sales of food declined in November is confirmed by retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores. Here, the volume of sales declined 12 per cent compared to November 1996.

The volume of retail sales of other new goods (clothing, shoes, electrical goods, furniture, hardware, paints, building materials and other goods) increased 2.9 per cent in November 1997 compared to November 1996. Retail sales of pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries grew 2.7 per cent during the same period.

The volume of retail sales went down 2.3 per cent in November 1997 compared with November the year before. The value index dropped 0.7 per cent while the price index rose 1.6 per cent during the same period. Retail sales in this connection exclude motor vehicles and gasoline.

New Statistics

Index of retail sales, November 1997.

Statistics are published every month in the Weekly Bulletin of Statistics. More information: Solveig Nygårdseter, tel. +47 62 88 51 74, e-mail: snl@ssb.no, or Rune Sønsterudbråten, tel. +47 62 88 54 37, e-mail: rso@ssb.no.

Index of goods consumption

Starting in 1996, the index of retail sales began to be published using the new Standard Industrial Classification. The adoption of the new industrial classification meant that the retail sales index could no longer include filling station sales and sales of motor vehicles. This led to the idea of establishing an index of goods consumption which in addition to the index of retail sales takes into account sales of gasoline, cars and motorcycles.

The monthly index of goods consumption published for the first time in January, also takes household consumption of electricity and heating oil into account. The goods consumption index is compiled using the same methods as the household consumption of goods in the quarterly national accounts and must be interpreted as an indicator of household spending on both durable and non-durable goods.

Weekly Bulletin issue no. 3, 1998