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Norway's retail sales volume index rose 4.3 per cent in the past four months of this year compared with the same period last year. Mail-order sales increased sharply during the period.
Retail sales in this connection exclude motor vehicles and gasoline.
The volume index for non-store retail sales grew the most, by 23.3 per cent in the four first months of 1999 compared with the same period in 1998. This industry consists mainly of mail-order sales. Volume sales of the clothing, shoes, electrical goods, furniture, books and building materials group increased by 6.7 per cent during the same period. The volume index for stores selling pharmaceuticals, medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries rose by 3.4 per cent. Volume sales of non-specialized stores, which mainly sell food, beverages and tobacco, rose 1.9 per cent in the first four months of 1999 compared with the same period in 1998. The volume of food, beverages and tobacco sold in specialized stores fell 0.5 per cent during the same period.
The April volume index fell 4.7 per cent in April 1999 compared with April 1998. The sales index for March and April is difficult to compare with the same months in 1998 due to Easter. The seasonally adjusted index takes the placement of Easter into account, but it is difficult to correct for Easter shopping. The seasonally adjusted index for March and April is therefore more uncertain than the seasonally adjusted indices for the other months. The seasonally adjusted index rose 1.5 per cent from March to April after having declined by 1.9 per cent from February to March this year.
Index of retail sales, April 1999.
The statistics are published monthly in the Weekly Bulletin of Statistics. For more information contact: Solveig.Nygardseter@ssb.no, tel. +47 62 88 51 74 or Aud.Midtsundstad@ssb.no, tel. +47 62 88 54 31. For information about the goods consumption index contact Gisle.Froiland@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 46 91 or Kristian.Gimming@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 44 17.
Weekly Bulletin issue no. 23, 1999