This is an archived release.
Electricity pulled up consumption of goods
Household consumption of goods increased by 1.5 per cent from March to April, according to seasonally-adjusted figures. Electricity and heating fuels contributed to pull up the growth by 1.3 percentage points.
Consumption of electricity and heating fuels showed a strong growth in April after a decrease in March. This is related to an abnormally warm March and a somewhat colder April.
Consumption of goods apart from electricity and heating fuel increased by 0.2 per cent from March to April, after somewhat stronger growth in the two last months. The strongest contribution came from consumption of food and beverages, which in total increased by 1.0 per cent.
Purchase of vehicles and engine fuel rose by 1.2 per cent, while household purchases of other goods including clothes and shoes, and leisure equipment fell by 0.8 per cent.
Without adjusting for seasonal variations, the total household consumption of goods was 3.3 per cent lower in April 2012 than in April 2011.
month last year.
|1||Please note that the indices have been revised.|
About Easter and the seasonal adjustment
Easter’s placement with Palm Sunday, which fell on 1 April, created some challenges for the seasonal adjustment that was presented in the last publication (27 April). The method did not take into account that shopping done due to Easter, especially the consumption of goods and beverages, was carried out at the end of March and thereby pulled up figures for March considerably. The effect of Easter had to be taken into account after the index of retail sales became available for April. This has led to a strong downward revision of March figures. The new figures show that the index of household consumption of goods in total was unchanged for February to March, while the last published figures show a growth of 1.6 per cent.
Method differs from the index of retail sales
The index of household consumption of goods describes the development in household consumption, while the index of retail sales measures the development in retail sales. Compared to the index of retail sales, the index of household consumption of goods has a wider selection of goods. The calculation of the index of household consumption of goods is based on information from the index of retail sales, plus purchases of cars (initial registration) and consumption of electricity and heating fuels. This may result in deviations in the development of the two indices. Additionally, it should be borne in mind that the Standard Industrial Classification changed on 1 January 2009, which inter alia means that petrol stations from then onwards are part of retail sales.
Connection to quarterly national accounts
The index of household consumption of goods uses the same definitions and methods of compilation as the quarterly national accounts, and thus serves as an indicator of household consumption in the quarterly national accounts.
Since Statistics Norway gives a high priority to timeliness in the release of statistics, the index of household consumption of goods sometimes has to rely on preliminary estimates, which are replaced in subsequent releases.
The national accounts have recently carried out a revision of the time series . The index of household consumption of goods, which uses the same methods and definitions as the consumption calculations in the quarterly national accounts, is affected by this revision. Also, the reference year has been changed to 2005.
As regards the seasonally-adjusted figures, the figures for previous periods may be revised when a new month is added to the series. For further information, see About seasonal adjustments in the left margin.