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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free

Contact: Rick Clayburgh, 701-328-2770 

April 12, 2001

Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst,              701-328-3402

Quarter Robust For Mining and Oil Extraction

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh released a key economic report today that indicates a slowdown in North Dakota’s economy continued through the fourth quarter of 2000.  Taxable sales and purchases totaled more than $1.8 billion during the months of October, November and December, a drop of $40 million – or 2.2 percent, compared to fourth quarter 1999.

The mining and oil extraction sector grew the fastest during the fourth quarter, rising 48.7 percent over the same quarter 1999.  Other sectors posting growth include the transportation, communication and public utilities sector up by more than 20 percent, and the farm machinery sub-sector of wholesale trade, which grew by 11.1 percent during the fourth quarter.

Commissioner Clayburgh said, “This shows the benefit of having a diverse economy.  The strength in those sectors helped counter balance the slowdown other sectors experienced.”

The upturn in those sectors partly helped offset the decline in the construction and manufacturing sectors.  The construction sector dropped by 31.3 percent and the manufacturing sector fell 14.9 percent compared to the same quarter 1999.

Clayburgh said,  “The downturn in the construction sector was anticipated largely because of the completion of a major one-time project the end of 1999.”  He added that the construction sector numbers will level off once that project is factored out of the statistics.

Other sectors reporting a decline include the services sector, down by 3.2 percent, and the retail trade sector off by 3.1 percent.

“Consumers were not spending as freely this holiday shopping season as in recent years,” said Clayburgh, adding that Internet sales were another possible factor contributing to the retail numbers.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for fourth quarter of 2000 were: Beach, up 35.2 percent; Wishek up 31 percent; Washburn, up 23.2 percent; Ashley, up 20.9 percent; and Casselton, up 17.8 percent.

The biggest percentage decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Northwood, down 34.1 percent; Beulah, down 15.5 percent; Ellendale, down 15.5 percent; Cando, down 15.2 percent; and Hazen down 12.5 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage fourth quarter increases were Dunn, up 68.8 percent; Logan, up 37.3 percent; Golden Valley, up 27.1 percent; McIntosh, up 25.9 percent; and Billings, up 22 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Benson, down 23 percent; Sargent, down 22 percent; Nelson, down 19.5 percent; Sioux, down 17.3 percent; and Burke, down 15.3 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Fourth Quarter 2000 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax

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