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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: Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402
Monday, May 10, 2010 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039

FONG: 2009 Taxable Sales and Purchases Exceed $11 Billion

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today released a key report showing growth in taxable sales and purchases. During 2009, taxable sales and purchases were $11.743 billion, down 5.3 percent compared to 2008. Taxable sales and purchases are up when compared to 2007 statistics. The 2009 report shows growth of 14.9 percent or $1.518 billion compared to 2007.

“North Dakota experienced a record-setting year for taxable sales and purchases in 2008, and that level of growth was not sustainable,” said Fong. “When we compare 2009 to 2007, which is a more typical year, spending levels grew by nearly 15 percent, signaling that North Dakota’s economy remains healthy.”

Compared to 2008, seven of fifteen sectors reported growth during 2009. The information industries sector showed the strongest overall growth in terms of dollars, increasing by more than $26 million from 2008 or 4.3 percent.

The largest percentage increase came in the other services sector, which was up 8.8 percent. Other sectors that reported growth during 2009, include the information industries, up 4.3 percent; educational, health care, and social services, up 3.9 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services, up 3.4 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, up 3 percent; and accommodation and food services, up 2.3 percent.

Two sectors remained relatively flat – arts, entertainment and recreation grew 0.1 percent; and retail trade was down less than one percent. Comparing the 2009 retail trade sector to the 2007 retail trade shows a growth of five percent.

“The retail sector is often used as a measure of the overall health of the economy,” said Fong. “Even with the events at the national level creating a level of economic uncertainty, in North Dakota our retail sector remained relatively solid. Comparisons to a more normal year, such as 2007, show that retail trade was up five percent in 2009.”

Sectors reporting a decline in 2009 compared to 2008, include: transportation and warehousing, down 42.5 percent; mining and oil extraction sector, down 25.9 percent; utilities, down 16.8 percent; wholesale trade, down 8.6 percent; miscellaneous, down 8.4 percent; manufacturing, down 7 percent; and construction, down 3.9 percent.

“North Dakota’s agricultural producers are the backbone of our economy,” said Fong. “During 2009, producers were dealing with the aftermath of spring storms and flooding on top of persistent high input costs, and a slowdown in commodity prices.”

The annual report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 112 cities reported increases and 88 reported decreases compared to 2008.

The largest four cities--Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot--reported taxable sales and purchases of $5.278 billion. Of the 200 cities, Galesburg led the growth of all cities with an increase of 463 percent growth over 2008. Starkweather was next, increasing by 115.7 percent; Hazelton was up 51.1 percent, Stanton grew by 47.6 percent and South Heart was up 45.6 percent.

Cities reporting the steepest decline compared to 2008 include Belfield, down 82.3 percent, Tower City down 45.5 percent, Lignite down 43.6 percent, Hunter decreased 41.5 percent, and Halliday was down 40.4 percent.

Included in the 2009 report are statistics for each of the state’s 53 counties. Oliver County led all counties with increases in 2009, with a 33.6 percent growth over 2008. Logan County was next, increasing by 17.6 percent; Mountrail County was up 17 percent; Bowman County was up by 14.3 percent; and Pierce County up by 14.2 percent. The counties recording the sharpest decline were Burke County down 35.7 percent; followed by Dunn County down 19.7 percent; Renville County down 18.8 percent; Sargent County down 18.7 percent; and Walsh County down 16 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 - 2009 Annual Statistical report are available on the Tax Department’s web site at: www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/.

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  • 2009 Annual Statistics Report - (89kb pdf)
  • 2009 Annual Taxable Sales Line Graph - (20kb pdf)
  • 2009 Annual Taxable Sales Pie Chart - (422kb pdf)
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