Press release 14/02/2005

DOMESTIC TRADE INDEX (ICI) 4th quarter 2004

Trade sector sales in the A.C. of the Basque Country increased 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2004

With this data, the accumulated growth rate for average annual sales in 2004 presented a nominal variation of 8.0%.

The Domestic Trade Index registered a 9.7% nominal inter-annual increase in the fourth quarter of 2004 in relation to the same period the year before, according to EUSTAT data. Once the effect of price rises is discounted, the real increase in sales by the trade sector in the fourth quarter of 2004 was estimated to be 2.2%.

Wholesale trade increased inter-annual sales by 11.3% in the fourth quarter last year, while retail trade increased sales by a lower rate of 6.8%.

The most outstanding nominal increases in sales in the wholesale sector corresponded to Semi-worked products and scrap metal (24.0%) and to a lower degree to nominal sales of Machinery and equipment (6.4%). Agricultural and food products obtained more discrete growth (4.1%) and non-food consumer products practically repeated the same position as the year before (0.3%).

The most outstanding increases in sales in the retail sector corresponded to Personal equipment (13.0%) and Other Consumer Goods (8.9%), while Household equipment articles (4.9%) and Food (1.3%) also obtained positive but more moderate inter-annual evolutions.

Retail trade in non-specialised medium and large stores increased sales in nominal terms by 3.4% over the fourth quarter of 2004, boosted by food sales (4.2%) compared with a slight decrease in the sale of the rest of products (-0.9%).

Over the whole of 2004 the Domestic Trade sales index registered 8.0% nominal growth in relation to the previous year; wholesale trade rose 9.4% and retail trade grew 5.3% over the annual period.

If we eliminate the effect of price rises and convert the nominal figures into constant euros, we can see the Domestic Trade Index grew 2.7% over the whole of 2004, increasing wholesale trade sales by 1.9% and sales corresponding to retail trade by 4.2%, as wholesale trade registered higher increases in prices than the retail sector.

The Domestic Trade Index in the fourth quarter registered positive nominal variations in all three provinces, increasing 5.0% in Alava, 8.7% in Gipuzkoa and 11.6% in Bizkaia. Over the annual whole, the Index in Alava came to 2.8%, in Gipuzkoa to 8.2% and 9.4% in Bizkaia, also in nominal terms.

Personnel employed in the trade sector of the A.C. of the Basque Country increased by 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2004 in relation to the previous quarter, increasing 2.0% in the wholesale sector and 2.9% in the retail sector. In the whole of the average of the four quarters in 2004 the increase in personnel was 1.6%, with 1.1% in wholesale and 2.0% in retail trade.

For further information:

Euskal Estatistika-Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tel:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail:
Contact: Gerardo Pérez Aja
Tel:+34-945-01 75 06 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
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Trade sector sales in the A.C. of the Basque Country increased 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2004

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