Washington State taxable retail sales climb 5.9 percent

Taxable retail sales increased 5.9 percent to $31.1 billion during the third quarter of 2007 compared to year-earlier results, the Washington Department of Revenue reported yesterday.
Retail Trade was up 2.7 percent over the third quarter of 2006 to $13.2 billion. Retail Trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales that tracks sales at retail outlets only and excludes such volatile sectors as construction.
Among major industries, construction was up 8.7 percent to $6.7 billion, new and used auto dealers dropped 2.2 percent to $2.6 billion, and restaurants, food services and drinking establishments rose 7.7 percent to $2.4 billion. Sales by general merchandise stores, which includes department stores, increased 3.5 percent to $2.5 billion, while building materials, garden equipment and supplies rose 0.8 percent to $1.5 billion.
Sales tax from construction activities accounted for 21.5 percent of all taxable retail sales, up from 21 percent during the third quarter of 2006. Meanwhile, Retail Trade shrank to 42.4 percent of total sales from 43.8 percent last year.
Among the most populous counties, King County was up 7.8 percent to $12.3 billion; Pierce rose 1.8 percent to $3.2 billion; Snohomish increased 5.1 percent to $3.0 billion; and Spokane climbed 5.0 percent to $2.0 billion.
Among cities with the most sales, Seattle was up 8.9 percent to $4.4 billion; Bellevue rose 14.7 percent to $1.5 billion; Tacoma increased 1.0 percent to $1.2 billion; Spokane grew 2.7 percent to $1.0 billion; and Everett climbed 4.0 percent to $740 million.
Additional results for all counties and selected cities, including breakdowns of sales by industry sector, are available online at http://www.dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/StatisticsAndReports/2007/qbr307/default.aspx .
Information is available for all cities through the “Create a Report” tool at http://www.dor.wa.gov/content/aboutus/statisticsandreports/TID/StatisticsReports.aspx?query=qbrnaics .