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Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics – First Quarter 2017

The wholesale and retail trade statistics are key economic data to gauge the pattern of consumer spending over a period of time. It is an important component of the Gross
14 Oct 2017 11:35
Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics – First Quarter 2017

The wholesale and retail trade statistics are key economic data to gauge the pattern of consumer spending over a period of time.

It is an important component of the Gross Domestic Product, which measures the output production of an economy, and are part of many economic models used by public and private agencies.

The wholesale trade sector com­prises establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, gener­ally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The merchandise referred to in this sector generally includes the outputs of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and certain infor­mation industries, such as publish­ing.

The wholesaling process is an in­termediate step in the distribution of merchandise which is the pur­chase of goods or services in bulk by businesses or persons who may add something to those goods or services, or use them in production.

Retail trade on the other hand includes establishments that are engaged in the sale of merchan­dise for personal or household con­sumption and in the rendering of services that are incidental to the sale of the merchandise.

Retailers normally engage in ac­tivities to attract the general public to buy their products and they offer goods and services directly to con­sumers.

Typically, such businesses sell in­dividual units or small groupings of products to large number of cus­tomers.

Retailers are the last stop on the supply chain before the products end up in your shopping cart.

The Wholesale and Retail Trade statistics from the Fiji Bureau of Statistics for March quarter 2017, showed that total Wholesale and Retail Trade sales stood at $970.0 million.

Total sales rose by 4.4 per cent ($41.0 million) when compared to the March quarter of 2016 due to higher sales of motor vehicles and hardware materials however, total sales fell by 2.0 per cent ($20.3 mil­lion) when compared to the Decem­ber quarter of 2016 due to decrease in the sale of non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco and hardware materials.

Sales of automotive fuel rose by 0.7 per cent ($2.2 million) while Sales of food and non-alcoholic bev­erages and tobacco and alcoholic beverages fell by 5.3 per cent ($14.9 million) when compared to the De­cember quarter of 2016.

Total sales of food and non-alco­holic beverages and tobacco and al­coholic beverages and automotive fuel rose by 2.5 per cent ($14.2 mil­lion) when compared to the March quarter of 2016.

When compared to the December quarter of 2016, sales of motor vehicles rose by 0.9 per cent ($0.6 million) while sales of hardware, paints and glass fell by 3.0 per cent ($2.5 million).

However, total sales of hardware, paints and glass and motor vehicles all rose by 12.4 per cent ($15.9 mil­lion) when compared to the March quarter of 2016.

The Wholesale and Retail Sales statistics are very closely followed by Government agencies, academic analysts and researchers, econo­mists, businesses and investors.

The Reserve Bank uses this data to analyse recent trends in consumer purchases as part of their overall analysis of the economy. Investors too use this data to analyse the spending behaviour in the econo­my and identify trends in various industries and plan their invest­ment portfolio accordingly. In more advanced economies, such as that of the United States, the release of Trade Data can cause huge volatil­ity in the stock market due to it be­ing used as one of the major predic­tors of inflationary pressure.

Generally, a slow growth in sales may indicate that consumers are not spending at previous levels, and could signal a possible decline in economic activities due to the sig­nificant role personal consumption plays in the health of the economy.

The wholesale and retail trade sta­tistics are also very integral part of operational planning for busi­nesses.

By reference to these statistics together with other demand side data, businesses can plan their supply accordingly.

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