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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: Cory Fong, Tax Commissioner, 701-328-2770
Friday, December 14, 2006 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

Tax Commissioner Reports Moderate Growth in Taxable Sales & Purchases for 3rd Quarter

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today that taxable sales and purchases made during July, August, and September 2006 were $2.377 billion, up $140 million or 6.3 percent compared to the third quarter 2005.

“This is a good report that shows moderate, continued growth,” said Fong. “Overall, consumer and business spending remained steady even with the drought, rising energy prices, and a slowdown in the housing market.”

Retail trade, the sector often looked to as a measurement of consumer confidence, continued to grow, reporting a gain of 4.2 percent compared to the same period for 2005. Inflation during the same time was 3.8 percent.

“Other sectors continued to expand as well, suggesting that consumers remained upbeat as we headed into the fourth quarter.”

Twelve of fifteen industries reported growth during the third quarter of 2006. The retail trade sector’s 4.2 percent growth represented the largest dollar increase of $39 million while the mining and oil extraction sector had the largest percentage of growth, rising by 45.3 percent. Other sectors that reported gains include: financial, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, up 24.4 percent; miscellaneous grew 21.7 percent; construction up 15.9 percent; manufacturing, up 11.6 percent; information industries, up 6.3 percent; accommodation and food services grew 6.1 percent; educational, health care, and social services sector grew 5.1 percent; wholesale trade, up 4.6 percent; arts, entertainment, and recreation, up 1.6 percent; and other services grew 1.4 percent.

Three sectors reported drops in taxable sales and purchases: professional, scientific, technical, and management services dropped 12.4 percent; transportation and warehousing dropped 6.9 percent; and utilities declined 4.6 percent.

“Early reports indicate that the holiday shopping season got off to a good start,” said Fong. “Falling energy prices and a steady job market helped to ease consumers concerns and they are likely to be in a spending mood this holiday season.”

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for third quarter of 2006 were: Cavalier, up 37 percent; Cando, up 34.4 percent; Williston, up 34 percent; Tioga, up 32 percent; and Watford City, up 27.3 percent.

The biggest percentage third quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Northwood, down 27.8 percent; Crosby, down 23.4 percent; Kenmare, down 21.1 percent; Harvey, down 19.3 percent; and Rugby, down 19 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Towner, up 66.4 percent; Sargent, up 35.8 percent; Williams, up 32.8 percent; McKenzie, up 25.4 percent; and Pembina, up 22.7 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were LaMoure, down 25.5 percent; Grant, down 20.7 percent; Wells, down 20.2 percent; Divide, down 19.8 percent; and Sioux, down 19.5 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Third Quarter 2006 can be accessed on the web at: http://www.nd.gov/tax/.

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