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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: Kathy Strombeck, Supervisor, Research & Education, 701.328.3402
Wednesday May 20, 2009 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039

FONG: 2008 Taxable Sales and Purchases Exceeds $12 Billion

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today released two key reports showing growth in taxable sales and purchases. During the months of October, November, and December, North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases were $3.4 billion, up $569 million or 20 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2007. For 2008, taxable sales and purchases were over $12 billion, growing 21.2 percent compared to 2007.

“These reports reflect an upbeat economy that continues to resist the national economic woes,” said Fong.

The overall annual growth of 21.2 percent was over five times the rate of inflation for 2008. The Consumer Price Index measurement of inflation for 2008 was 3.8 percent.

Wholesale trade showed the strongest overall growth in terms of dollars, increasing by more than $805 million from 2007 or 43.8 percent.

“The wholesale trade sector is another sector we monitor to keep a finger on the pulse of our economy,” said Fong. “Based on the data provided in these reports, the wholesale trade sector grew, which suggests that suppliers continue to move products as demand on inventories remained strong.”

All fifteen industries reported growth for the year 2008. The largest percent growth was in the transportation and warehousing sector, which grew by 137.5 percent in 2008 compared to 2007.

Other sectors reporting growth include: mining and oil sector increased by 100.1 percent; the wholesale trade sector grew by 43.8 percent; utilities grew by 30.4 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing grew by 28.8 percent; the miscellaneous sector increased by 27.5 percent; manufacturing was up 21.4 percent; other services grew by 18 percent; construction increased by 11.9 percent; accommodation and food services sector was up 8.5 percent, professional, scientific, technical, and management services grew by 7.8 percent; the retail trade was up 5.8 percent; information industries was up by 5.6 percent; the educational, health care, social services sector grew by 3.8 percent, and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector grew two percent.

“North Dakota’s agricultural producers are the backbone of our economy,” said Fong. “During 2008 strong harvests and healthy cattle markets bolstered our producers. In 2009, producers are dealing with the aftermath of spring storms and flooding on top of an uncertain national economy, persistent high input costs, and a slowdown in commodity prices, and we will continue to keep an eye on the impact these issues might have on our producers.”

The annual report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 167 cities reported increases and 33 reported decreases compared to 2007.

“The number of cities experiencing growth confirms that the growth is widespread throughout the state,” said Fong. “Large and small cities and counties are reaping the benefits of our diverse economic growth.”

The largest four cities--Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot--reported growth ranging from four percent in Grand Forks to 13.2 percent in Minot. These four cities increased taxable sales and purchases by $324 million over 2007. Of the 200 cities, Lignite led the growth of all cities with an increase of 997.7 percent growth over 2007. Belfield was next, increasing by 276.6 percent; Gladstone was up 138.6 percent, Tioga grew by 109.3 percent and Stanley was up 105.5 percent. Cities reporting the steepest decline compared to 2007 include Starkweather, down 65.8 percent, Minnewaukan down 33.9 percent, Richardton down 32.1 percent, Burlington decreased 26.8 percent, and Center was down 20.8 percent.

Included in the fourth quarter report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Burke County led all counties with increases in October, November, and December 2008, with a 570 percent growth over 2007. Williams County was next, increasing by 106.6 percent; Mountrail County was up 71 percent; Dunn County was up by 69.5 percent; and Bottineau County up by 58.5 percent. The counties recording the sharpest decline were Oliver County with a drop of 33.2 percent; followed by Sheridan County down 17.6 percent; Golden Valley County down 16.3 percent; Morton County down 10.9 percent; and Cavalier County down 10.2 percent.

The Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report is used primarily as a summary of economic activity that occurred in the state. The North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Fourth Quarter 2008 and the complete 2008 Annual Statistical report are available on the Tax Department’s web site at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/.

  • 2008 Annual Taxable Sales Bar Graph
  • 2008 Annual Taxable Sales Pie Chart
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