Holiday shopping boosts 4th Q sales

Holiday shopping boosts 4thQ 2016 sales statewide

OLYMPIA - Shoppers in a spending mood during the holidays helped boost the state’s taxable retail sales by 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 over the same period in 2015, reaching $38.2 billion.
That same holiday spirit also contributed to a 5.9 percent bump in retail trade sales, which totaled $17.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016.
Taxable retail sales includes transactions subject to the retail sales tax, including sales by retailers, the construction industry, manufacturing and other sectors.
Retail trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales in the state and includes sales of items such as clothing, furniture and automobiles, but excludes other industries, such as services and construction.
These figures are part of a quarterly report released today by the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue). The taxable retail sales figures compare the same quarter year-over-year to equalize any seasonal effects that would influence consumer and business spending decisions.

The holidays showed strong positive sales for these retail industries:
    •    Taxable retail sales reported by new and used auto dealers increased 10 percent, reaching $3.31 billion.
    •    Lawn and garden supplies and equipment sales rose by 13.0 percent to $161.6 million.
    •    Drug and health stores’ sales rose 18.8 percent, reaching $739.9 million.
    •    Taxable e-commerce and mail order sales increased 11.0 percent to $872.6 million.*
    •    RV, boat and motorcycle dealers’ sales rose 18.7 percent, to $292 million.

See statewide fourth-quarter taxable retail sales and retail trade sales by industry: dor.wa.gov/docs/reports/2016/lrt416/TRS_Statewide_Table6_QT42016.xlsx.
Of the top 10 most populated counties in the state, Pierce and Skagit counties enjoyed the largest overall taxable retail sales percentage increase. Tacoma and Spokane Valley saw the largest increase of the most populous cities.
See more details on the taxable retail sales and retail trade sales by industry for:
    •    Counties: http://dor.wa.gov/docs/reports/2016/qbr416/t3Q416.xlsx.
    •    Cities: http://dor.wa.gov/docs/reports/2016/qbr416/t4Q416.xlsx.

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