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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: Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402

Fong: 3rd Quarter Taxable Sales & Purchases Show Robust Growth

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today that taxable sales and purchases made during July, August, and September 2008 were $3.452 billion, up $755 million or 28 percent compared to the third quarter 2007.

“This is a great report reflecting robust growth for the third quarter,” said Fong. “North Dakota’s retail trade continued to show strength, in contrast to the national reports of slipping sales.”

Retail trade, the sector often looked to as a measurement of consumer confidence, continued to grow, reporting a gain of 7.73 percent compared to the same period for 2007. Inflation during the same time was 5.3 percent.

Fourteen of fifteen industries reported growth during the third quarter of 2008. Compared to third quarter 2007, the wholesale trade sector had the largest growth in terms of dollars, growing $254.4 million, while the transportation and warehousing sector experienced the largest percentage of growth, rising by 503.2 percent. The third quarter gains reported in other sectors include: mining and oil extraction, up 104.5 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, up 47.7 percent; utilities, up 37.4 percent; miscellaneous, up 28.6 percent; manufacturing, up 24.9 percent; construction grew 22.4 percent; educational, health care, and social services, up 14.8 percent; other services up 14.2 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services, grew 9.3 percent; accommodation and food services, up 8.2 percent; retail trade up 7.7 percent; and information industries grew 6.4 percent.

The only sector to experience a decline was the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector dropping 0.8 percent.

“This report sends an optimistic signal at a time when the nation continues to focus on its financial woes and many states are facing tightening budgets and shortfalls,” said Fong. “As we wrap up the all-important Christmas shopping season, despite reports of weak sales at the national level, we look forward to 2009 with a level of cautious optimism.”

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for third quarter of 2008 were: Tioga, up 115 percent; Stanley, up 114.6 percent; Williston, up 75.1 percent; New Town, up 61 percent; and Northwood, 39.6 percent.

Only one of the 50 largest cities posted a noticeable decrease during the third quarter – Ashley, down 17.9 percent. Others that were relatively flat or down less than one percent include Hettinger, down 0.7 percent; Wahpeton, down 0.6 percent; Mandan down 0.6 percent; and Hazen, down 0.2 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Burke, up 423 percent; Stark, up 89.3 percent; Williams, up 79.1 percent; Mountrail, up 77 percent; and Benson, up 69 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Dunn, down 11.9 percent; Oliver, down 11.0 percent; Slope, down 3.8 percent; and Emmons, down 2.2 percent; and Adams, down 1.9 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Third Quarter 2008 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/reports/2008-3-stat-report.pdf.

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