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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, July 19, 2007 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402

FONG: Growth Continues for First Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota’s statewide economy continued to grow during the first three months of 2007, Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today in releasing a key economic report. The report shows North Dakota’s total taxable sales and purchases were $2.147 billion, up $153 million or 7.7 percent during January, February, and March compared to the same months in 2006.

“This is another great report, signaling that North Dakota’s economy continues to expand, outpacing the national trend,” said Fong. “Today’s numbers point to a steady growth pattern when compared to the same quarter in 2006.”

Twelve of fifteen sectors reported growth during the first three months of 2007. The retail trade sector continued to experience growth, climbing 6.3 percent during the first three months of 2007. The rate of inflation for the same time was about 2.4 percent.

The largest percentage increase came in mining and oil extraction, up 64.3 percent when compared to 2006. Fong indicated the price per barrel of oil continues to spur activity in North Dakota’s oil patch.

“If energy prices continue to rise, we could feel the impact in other areas,” said Fong. “For example, sustained high price for gas at the pump will put pressure on consumers’ pocketbooks and ultimately impact various other industries important to our economy such as tourism, retail trade, and agricultural.”

Other sectors reported increases when compared to the same quarter in 2006. Construction sector rose by 40 percent; the financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector grew 23.7 percent; miscellaneous grew 19.1 percent; manufacturing was up 9.5 percent; arts, entertainment and recreation increased 8.9 percent; wholesale trade rose by 8.1 percent; information industries grew eight percent; educational, health care, and social services increased 7.8 percent; other services was up 5.4 percent; and accommodation and food services grew by 5.3 percent.

Three sectors declined during the first quarter of 2007. Professional, scientific, technical, and management services slipped by 32.8 percent; transportation and warehousing decreased by 15.5 percent; and utilities declined by 7.7 percent.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases in the first quarter of 2007 were in the double-digits with Tioga, up 92.5 percent; Cando up 45.8 percent; Kenmare, up 29.3 percent; New Town, up 20.8 percent; and Williston, up 19.5 percent.

The biggest percentage first quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Washburn, down 40 percent; Wishek, down 34.8 percent; Grafton, down 13.8 percent; Garrison, down 11.9 percent; and Harvey down 10.5 percent.

Counties experiencing the highest percentage first quarter increases were Sioux, up 116 percent; Dunn, up 105.6 percent; Towner, up 38.9 percent; Williams, up 25.2 percent; and Logan, up 21.3 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage of decrease were McIntosh, down 29.1 percent; LaMoure, down 26.7 percent; McLean, down 23.7 percent; Nelson, down 19.8 percent; and Wells down 15.3 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report is available online at: http://www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/reports/2007-1-stat-report.pdf. For more information or if you have questions about sales tax collections, please contact the Office of State Tax Commissioner at 701.328.3402.

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