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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
Thursday, June 7, 2007 Kathy Strombeck, Research Analyst 701.328.3402

FONG: 2006 Taxable Sales and Purchases Approach $9.3 Billion

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong released a report today that shows the 2006 taxable sales and purchases grew by 8.4 percent, or nearly $9.3 billion.

“This year-end report is the culmination of 15 consecutive quarters of growth, going as far back as the middle of 2003,” said Fong. “It is another signal that our economy in North Dakota is on a steady growth pattern, and has been for quite some time.”

Retail trade, the largest of the industry categories, showed the strongest overall growth in terms of dollars, increasing by more than $213 million from 2005 or 5.8 percent.

“The retail sector of our economy is a reflection of peoples’ pocket books,” said Fong, “This kind of sustained retail growth is a sign of healthy consumer confidence and a thriving economy.”

The overall growth of 8.4 percent was more than double the rate of inflation for 2006. The Consumer Price Index measurement of inflation for 2006 was 3.2 percent.

“While rising fuels costs certainly do pose a challenge for farmers, business-owners, and individual consumers alike,” said Fong. “The price for fuel at the pump did not appear to significantly hamper spending last year. On the other hand, continued increases may dampen the consumers’ mood this year.”

Fourteen of fifteen industries reported growth during 2006. The largest growth was in the mining and oil sector, which grew by 45.4 percent in 2006 compared to 2005. Other sectors reporting growth include: the construction sector increased by 19.8 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector grew by 19.6 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services sector was up 18.2 percent; wholesale trade sector was up 11.1 percent; miscellaneous sector was up 10.7 percent; manufacturing sector was up 9.8 percent; information industries sector was up 7.3 percent; accommodation and food services sector was up 6.4 percent; retail trade sector was up 5.8 percent; other services sector was up 3.9 percent; educational, health care, and social services sector was up 3.9 percent; utilities sector was up two percent; and the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector was up 1.2 percent. Transportation and warehousing, the only sector to report a decrease, was down four percent.

“This report shows that focusing our development efforts on our targeted industries, like energy, value-added agriculture, and advanced manufacturing, is paying off,” said Fong. “These industries are creating good paying jobs and career opportunities for people across our state and each contributed to the growth we saw in 2006.”

The report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 96 cities reported increases, 91 reported decreases, and 13 remained unchanged from 2005. The largest four cities--Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot--reported growth ranging from 3.2 percent in Grand Forks to 9.5 percent in Bismarck. These four cities increased taxable sales and purchases by $283 million over 2005.

Included in the annual report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Williams County led all counties with increases in 2006, with a 32.5 percent growth over 2005. Renville County was next, increasing by 32.4 percent; McKenzie County was up 20.4 percent; Oliver County was up by 19.3 percent; and Bowman County up by 14.1 percent. The counties recording the sharpest decline were Griggs County with a drop of 10.7 percent; followed by Pierce County down 9.7 percent; Dunn County down 9.2 percent; Wells County down 7.9 percent; and McHenry County down 7.8 percent.

The complete Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report for 2006 is available on the Tax Department’s web site at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/reports/2006-annual-stat-report.pdf.

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