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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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner 701-328-2770
April 6, 2004 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

Record 4th Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Exceeds $2 Billion

BISMARCK --- North Dakota's taxable sales and purchases exceeded $2 billion during the months of October, November, and December of 2003, Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today.

"This is the first time that North Dakota's taxable sales and purchases exceeded $2 billion for a quarter," said Clayburgh.

According to the report, the total taxable sales and purchases for all industry sectors was $2.031 billion for the fourth quarter, an increase of 7.7 percent compared to the same quarter in 2002. Of this amount, the transportation, communication and public utilities sector reported the largest percentage increase of 21.8 percent over the same quarter in 2002.

Retail trade is generally used as an overall indicator of economic health. The 4th quarter report shows retail trade reported record taxable sales and purchases in excess of $1.1 billion for growth of 5.5 percent over the same quarter one year ago.

Clayburgh said, "The retail trade sector was one of several bright spots during the 4th quarter. Continued consumer confidence was evident in the 4th quarter as consumer spending boosted retail sales over twice the rate of inflation for that period."

Other sectors reported gains compared to last year - the construction sector was up 12.8 percent; wholesale trade sector grew by 9.7 percent; services sector grew by 7 percent; and manufacturing grew by 3.7 percent.

The only sector reporting a drop was the mining and oil extraction sector which dropped by 15 percent.

"North Dakota oil production is lagging despite recent high oil prices. Ongoing environmental and regulatory issues have an impact on this important industry in our state," Clayburgh continued.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in the last quarter of 2003 were Beach up 48.2 percent; Stanley up 34.2 percent; New Town up 33.1 percent; Northwood up 29.8 percent; and Cooperstown up 23.8 percent.

The biggest percentage fourth quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Lisbon down 28.9 percent; Walhalla down 14 percent; Washburn down 10.2 percent; Park River down 8.4 percent; and Kenmare down 6.4 percent.

Counties experiencing the highest percentage fourth quarter increases were Golden Valley up 45.7 percent; LaMoure up 39.5 percent; Mountrail up 29.4 percent; Renville up 25.8 percent; and Dunn up 24 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage of decrease were Ransom down 23.1 percent; Sargent down 9.2 percent; Logan down 8.6 percent; McHenry down 4.6 percent; and McLean down 3.8 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports can be accessed on our Web site at: www.nd.gov/tax/

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