The Norwegian state alcohol monopoly, Vinmonopolet, reported a 6.7% rise in alcohol sales in January 2002 compared with January 2001. Vinmonopolet attributed the rise in sales to a reduction in alcohol tax which came into effect at the beginning of January 2002, but it said that the opening of 17 new stores was also a contributory factor. Taxes were reduced by 5% for wines and by 15% for spirits.