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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
Thursday, March 27, 2008 Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402


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 $2.834 billion, up $294 million or 11.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2006, marking the nineteenth consecutive quarter of growth.

“This is a great report, offering positive news for North Dakota,” said Fong. “Even with growing concerns about the national economy, North Dakota’s consumers remained upbeat during the holiday shopping season.”

Twelve of fifteen sectors reported growth during October, November, and December of 2007. The largest percentage increase came in mining and oil extraction, up 81 percent when compared to 2006. The retail trade sector, the sector often looked to as a measure of the economy, continued to experience growth, climbing 9 percent during the last quarter of 2007. The rate of inflation for the same time was about 3.2 percent.

Fong said, “North Dakota has been fortunate to avoid the economic and budget concerns that many states are facing due to distressed housing markets and declining income and sales tax revenues.”

Of the industries that reported growth during the fourth quarter of 2007, the Retail Trade sector had the largest growth in terms of dollars, growing $98.7 million, while the Mining and Oil Extraction sector experienced the largest percentage of growth, rising by 81 percent. Other sectors reporting fourth quarter gains include: Miscellaneous, up 21.4 percent; Wholesale Trade, up 20.5 percent; Transportation and Warehousing, up 18.4 percent; Financial, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing, up 12.9 percent; Accommodation and Food Services, up 9 percent; Manufacturing grew 9 percent; Retail Trade, up 9 percent; Information Industries up 8.4 percent; Other Services, grew 7 percent; Educational, Health Care, and Social Services, up 2.8 percent; and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation up 2.8 percent.

“We continue to keep an eye on agricultural-related activity,” said Fong. “While robust prices for major commodities have produced strong income for our farmers, rising input costs and uncertain spring and summer weather conditions could impact our producers in the state.”

Three sectors declined during the fourth quarter of 2007. The Utilities sector slipped by 6.5 percent; the Professional, Scientific, Technical, and Management Services decreased by 2.3 percent; and the Construction sector remained relatively flat, declining by only 0.2 percent.

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for fourth quarter of 2007 were Casselton, up 71.4 percent; Tioga, up 64.9 percent; New Town, up 61.9 percent; Stanley, up 60.1 percent; and Northwood, 42.4 percent.

The biggest percentage fourth quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Cando, down 10.3 percent; Washburn, down 6.9 percent; Crosby, down 3.1 percent; Cavalier down 2.4 percent; and Beulah, down 0.2 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Sargent, up 64.4 percent; Slope, up 63.3 percent; Dunn, up 59.9 percent; Sioux, up 58 percent; and Mountrail, up 56.1 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Billings, down 11 percent; Bottineau, down 13.7 percent; Morton, down 2.3 percent; Divide, down 2.2 percent; and Towner, down 1.5 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Fourth Quarter 2007 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/reports/2007-4-stat-report.pdf - (52kb pdf).

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