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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, May 30, 2006 Kathy Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701-328-3402


BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong released a key statistical report today that shows taxable sales and purchases for the year 2005 grew by 7.3 percent, exceeding $8.5 billion.

“We had another strong year as consumer confidence held steady,” said Fong. “Even with increases in energy prices and rising interest rates, North Dakota’s overall growth in taxable sales and purchases exceeded the rate of inflation.” The Consumer Price Index measurement of inflation for 2005 was 3.4 percent.

Retail trade, the largest of the industry categories in terms of dollars, contributed the most to the overall amount of growth, increasing by more than $187 million from 2004 or 5.4 percent.

“The retail sector is often looked to as a measurement of the overall health of the economy,” said Fong. “And that sector remained solid during 2005 as consumers continued to spend.”

Fourteen of fifteen industries reported growth during 2005. The largest growth was in the utilities sector, which grew by 20.3 percent in 2005 compared to 2004. The other sectors reporting growth include: the finance, insurance, real estate, rental & leasing sector grew by 19.8 percent; educational, health care, and social services sector grew 17.9 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services sector grew 11.4 percent; manufacturing grew by 11.4 percent; wholesale trade grew 9.4 percent; transportation and warehousing grew 9.3 percent; mining and oil extraction up by 8.7 percent; construction up 7.8 percent; retail trade grew 5.4 percent; accommodation and food services up 5.3 percent; information industries up 4.9 percent; miscellaneous up 2.9 percent; and other services up by 2 percent.

The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, the only group reporting a decrease, was down by 3.5 percent.

“North Dakota’s energy industry is in a growth cycle,” said Fong. “Increased activity in the oil patch coupled with recent developments in renewable energy such as wind energy, bio-diesel, and ethanol plants offer opportunities that have potential to help stimulate the local and state economies.”

The report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 104 cities reported increases, 73 reported decreases, and 23 remained unchanged from 2004. The largest four cities--Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot--reported growth ranging from 1.8% in Grand Forks to 10.3% in Bismarck. These four cities increased taxable sales and purchases by $271 million over 2004.

Included in the annual report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Sargent County led all counties with increases in 2005, with an 87.8 percent growth over 2004. Williams County was next, increasing by 29.3 percent; Burke County was up 27.5 percent; Towner County was up by 19.5 percent; and Renville County up by 19.2 percent. The counties registering the sharpest decline were Nelson County with a drop of 12.9 percent; followed by Oliver County down 11.1 percent; Steele County down nine percent; Griggs County down 7.8 percent; and Cavalier County down 5.2 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report for 2005 is available on the Office of State Tax Commissioner’s web site: http://www.nd.gov/tax/.

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