Positive fourth quarter for retail trade

In the fourth quarter of 2005, retail turnover was 3.0 percent higher than in the last quarter of 2004. The non-food sector in particular performed well. Retail prices in the fourth quarter were 0.5 percent down on one year ago. Turnover volume was 3.5 percent higher, according to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

Recovery continues

Retail turnover picked up in the third quarter, when a turnover increase of 0.8 percent on the same period in the previous year was recorded, and recovery continued in the fourth quarter. Turnover increase in the third quarter followed nine quarters of turnover losses. Nevertheless, the retail sector managed to conclude 2005 with only a small loss of 0.4 percent on 2004. In the first six months of 2005, retail sales declined considerably.

Substantial increase quarterly turnover non-food sector

Sales in the non-food sector increased substantially in the fourth quarter of last year. Non-food turnover was 4.6 percent up on the last quarter of 2004; shop prices were 1.0 percent lower, whereas turnover volume was 5.7 percent higher. In the various branches of the non-food sector, the highest turnover increase was recorded in clothes shops. Turnover losses were only reported in shops selling household items.

Turnover food sector marginally higher

Turnover in shops selling food, drinks and tobacco increased by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in the previous year. Prices were 0.3 percent higher. It is for the first time in two years that prices are rising in the food sector. The highest turnover increase (0.8 percent) was realised in supermarkets. Specialised shops in food, drinks and tobacco had a 0.2 percent higher turnover.

December turnover higher

In December 2005, retailers reported a 3.7 percent higher turnover than in December 2004. With 5.2 percent, turnover increase was highest in the non-food sector. Turnover increased by 1.0 percent in shops selling food, drinks and tobacco. More shopping days in December 2005, compared to December 2004, had a positive effect on retail turnover.