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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, December 21, 2011 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039

Tax Commissioner Reports Nearly 40 Percent Growth in 3rd Quarter Taxable Sales & Purchases

BISMARCK, N.D. Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today that taxable sales and purchases made during July, August, and September 2011 were $5.476 billion, up $1.509 billion or 38.6 percent compared to the third quarter 2010.

"This is a very strong report especially in the face of historic flooding that occurred this spring and summer," said Fong. "In addition, while other states contend with stagnant economies and persistent deficits, North Dakota is once again reporting growth across most industry sectors as both consumer and business spending gained momentum."

Retail trade, the sector often looked to as a measurement of consumer confidence, continued to grow, reporting a gain of 17.2 percent compared to the same period for 2010. Wholesale trade, which reflects spending by businesses, reported gains of 43.5 percent. Inflation during the same time was 3.8 percent.

North Dakota's wholesale trade and retail trade were strong performers in the third quarter, which, when coupled with our low unemployment rate, indicate that consumer confidence remained strong heading into the fourth quarter," said Fong.

Twelve of fifteen industries reported growth during the third quarter of 2011. The miscellaneous sector reported the largest percentage increase, rising by 214.7 percent while the mining and oil extraction sector reported the largest dollar increase of $545 million. Of the sectors that reported gains, mining and oil extraction, grew 98.5 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing grew 67.2 percent; wholesale trade, up 43.5 percent; manufacturing, up 45.1 percent; construction, up 39.9 percent; other services increased 32.3 percent; retail trade grew 17.2 percent; transportation and warehousing, up 15.5 percent; accommodation and food services, up 15.5 percent; information industries, up 9.6 percent; and arts, entertainment, and recreation, grew 1.5 percent.

Two sectors reported a slowdown in taxable sales and purchases: educational, health care, and social services, dropped 18.5 percent; and utilities, declined 16 percent. Professional, scientific, technical, and management services remained essentially flat, dipping only 0.2 percent.

"Early reports indicate that the holiday shopping season got off to a great start," said Fong. "A steady job market along with North Dakota's strong economy has encouraged consumers to be in a spending mood this Christmas season."

Of the 50 largest cities, the largest percentage increases for third quarter of 2011 were: Tioga, up 137.8 percent; Stanley, up 127.5 percent; New Town, up 107.9 percent; Williston, up 90.5 percent; Watford City, up 62.6 percent.

The largest percentage third quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Kenmare, down 30 percent; Grafton, down 8.5 percent; Wahpeton, down 6.4 percent; and Lincoln, down 1.9 percent.

Counties with the largest percentage increases were Burke, up 122.1 percent; Mountrail, up 107.4 percent; Williams, up 100 percent; McKenzie, up 72.6 percent; and Dunn, up 68.3 percent.

The counties with the largest percentage decreases were Kidder, down 30.1 percent; Sheridan, down 15.6 percent; Hettinger, down 12.7 percent; and Renville, down 12.4 percent.

Complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Reports from Third Quarter 2011 can be accessed on the web at: www.nd.gov/tax.

  • 2011 Third Quarter Sales and Use Statistical Report - (pdf)
  • 3rd Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Miscellaneous Charts - (pdf)
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