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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
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402

Report Shows Strong 4th Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today that during the months of October, November, and December, North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases were $2.406 billion, up $197 million or 8.9 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2004, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth.

“This is a very positive report,” said Fong. “The 8.9% increase is two-and-one-half times the rate of inflation, which suggests real growth in our economy.” Inflation for the same time frame was 3.3%.

Twelve of fifteen industries reported growth during the fourth quarter of 2005. The largest growth was in the utilities sector which reported growth of 48 percent compared to 2004. Other sectors include: transportation and warehousing grew 40 percent; construction was up 25 percent; manufacturing, up 20 percent; educational, health care, and social services grew by 19 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental & leasing, up 13.6 percent; information industries, up 11.5 percent; wholesale trade grew 11 percent; professional, scientific, technical, & management services, up 5.7 percent; retail trade, up 5.5 percent; accommodation & food services grew 4.3 percent, and other services grew .7 percent.

Three groups reported declining taxable sales and purchases: mining and oil extraction down 22.6 percent; miscellaneous down 13.1 percent; and arts, entertainment & recreation down 8 percent.

Fong said, “This report shows the benefits of North Dakota’s diversified economy and that consumer confidence has remained strong. Retail gains during the Christmas shopping season were significant and businesses continued to grow and expand throughout the quarter.”

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in the last quarter of 2005 were Williston up 33.7 percent; Lincoln up 33.4 percent; Park River up 30.9 percent; Northwood up 26.2 percent; and Wishek up 19.1 percent.

The biggest percentage fourth quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were in Cooperstown down 15.1 percent; Washburn down 13.1 percent; Beach down 11.9 percent; Kenmare down 11.1 percent; and Ashley down 9.5 percent.

Counties experiencing the highest percentage fourth quarter increases were Sioux up 205.5 percent; Sargent up 44.2 percent; Williams up 31.1 percent; Dunn up 27.7 percent; and Bowman up 17.3 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage of decrease were Steele down 17 percent; Nelson down 13.1 percent; Griggs down 11 percent, McKenzie down 10.3 percent; and Oliver down 8.3 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports are available on the Tax Department’s web site at: http://www.nd.gov/tax. For any additional information, including questions regarding sales tax collections please contact the Office of Tax Commissioner at 701-328-3402.

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