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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rick Clayburgh, 701-328-2770 

January 8, 2002

Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst,             701-328-3402

North Dakota Taxable Sales and Purchases Up During 3rd Quarter

BISMARCK ---Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that total taxable sales and purchases made during July, August, and September 2001 were $1.868 billion, up by more than $60 million over the third quarter 2000. The $60 million represents a 3.3 percent increase.

“North Dakota’s economy differs from much of the nation during times of nation-wide economic slowdown,” said Commissioner Clayburgh. “Diversity in our economy has helped us continue on a path of slow, steady growth while other states face a recession.”

Manufacturing activity strengthened during the 3rd quarter, increasing over 9.9 percent; the services sector was up by 5.7 percent; retail trade was up by 2.9 percent; transportation, communication, and public utilities sector up by almost 2 percent; and the mining and oil extraction sector remained stable, up slightly by almost 1 percent.

“This is the first time since the third quarter 1999 that the manufacturing industry posted an increase,” said Clayburgh, “and the fact that we witnessed increases in all but one sector sends an optimistic signal as this quarter leads into the all-important Christmas shopping season.”

Clayburgh added, "Early indications are that North Dakota's retailers may have continued to experience sales growth throughout the Christmas shopping season."

Clayburgh indicated he was pleased to see the wholesale trade numbers because they include sales and purchases of farm machinery and farm repair parts which grew by 9.9 percent over third quarter 2000.

“The agriculture sector is the largest industry in North Dakota and is vitally important to the overall health of our state’s economy,” said Clayburgh. “Strength in the farm machinery and farm repair parts sector is encouraging for the ag industry as well as those businesses and communities that are ag-dependent.”

The construction sector was the only sector to report a drop, falling 4.8 percent when compared to third quarter 2000.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for third quarter of 2001 were: Tioga, up 41.4 percent; Lincoln up 39.6 percent; Watford City, up 23.6 percent; Washburn, up 16.9 percent; and Grafton, up 15.4 percent.

The biggest percentage third quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Cooperstown, down 18.9 percent; New Rockford, down 18.2 percent; Casselton, down 10.9 percent; Mayville, down 8 percent; and Larimore down 6.9 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were McKenzie, up 22.1 percent; Logan, up 21.6 percent; Grant, up 16.1 percent; Ransom, up 15.3 percent; and Golden Valley, up 14.6 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Sioux, down 42.5 percent; Griggs, down 18.8 percent; Sheridan, down 15.4 percent; Slope, down 13.9 percent; and Sargent, down 11.2 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Third Quarter 2001 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax/forms/sales.html

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