Taxable Retail Sales Jump in Washington

By Tom Bacon

 Washington consumers did their bit in the first quarter this year to re-build the state's economy.
Taxable retail sales in the state jumped 8 percent in the first three months this year compared with the same time last year. And Spokane County consumers pitched in by spending one-point-seven billion dollars during that time, a 6.6 percent hike from the year before.

Virtually every component of the index compiled by the Washington State Department of Revenue rose. Construction spending was up a healthy 17 percent. New and used vehicle sales rose more than 11 percent. And sales of building materials and garden equipment jumped 14 percent.

In the City of Spokane, taxable sales rose 7.4 percent to about 917 million dollars for the quarter. The more narrow measure of retail trade sales was also up, more than 7 percent. Retail trade sales exclude results from industries such as services and construction.

As robust as the percentage increases were, the jump in economic activity brought the state back up only to 2008 levels when taxable sales last topped 26-billion dollars.
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