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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, October 2, 2013 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039

North Dakota Taxable Sales and Purchases Slowed in 2nd Quarter

BISMARCK, N.D. The Tax Department today issued a report that reflects a slowing in taxable sales and purchases for North Dakota during the second quarter, which includes the months of April, May, and June. Second quarter 2013 total taxable sales and purchases was $6.293 billion compared to $6.451 billion for the same quarter in 2012. The slowdown reflects a drop of 2.4 percent, or $157.3 million, comparing 2013 to 2012 for the same quarter.

"While this report reflects a slowing when compared to 2012, it is still a good report. The late spring blizzard and excessive rains hampered certain industries; however, the retail and wholesale trade sectors grew, suggesting that consumer confidence remained strong even with an overall slowing in spending," said Deputy Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger.

Rauschenberger added, "North Dakota experienced a record-setting year for taxable sales and purchases in 2012, and that level of growth was not sustainable. When we compare 2013 to 2011, spending levels grew by 39 percent, reflecting the strength of North Dakota's economy."

Retail trade, the sector generally looked to as a measure of the economy, was up 1.9 percent during second quarter 2013 when compared to the same quarter in 2012. Wholesale trade, which reflects business-to-business transactions, was up 2.1 percent during that same timeframe.

Comparing second quarter 2013 to second quarter 2012, sectors reporting growth include: utilities sector, which grew 54.4 percent; miscellaneous sector, grew 32.5 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing grew 12.7 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services grew 11.5 percent; information industries grew 11.2 percent; accommodation and food services grew 2.5 percent; wholesale trade grew 2.1 percent; and retail trade grew 1.9 percent.

Sectors reporting a decline include: transportation and warehousing sector declined 49.3 percent; educational, health care, and social services dropped 20.1 percent; mining and oil extraction dropped 15.7 percent; construction dropped 13.7 percent; manufacturing dropped 5.5 percent; other services dropped 2.8 percent; and arts, entertainment and recreation dropped 1 percent.

"The mining sector dropped in the second quarter, suggesting that the rapid growth of energy development may be leveling off to a more sustainable pace," said Rauschenberger. "In addition, the late spring and early wet summer affected activities in a number of sectors, such as mining and oil production."

Rauschenberger added, "The agricultural industry is an important sector for North Dakota and one on which we tend to rely. During the second quarter, our producers dealt with late spring winter storms and excessive rains in May that hampered our agricultural producers getting into the fields. We continue to watch the agricultural industry, especially as the harvest wraps up."

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for second quarter of 2013 were: New Town, up 30.9 percent; Northwood, up 27.8 percent; Cooperstown, up 27.3 percent; Ellendale, up 27.2 percent; and Beach, up 26.3 percent.

The biggest percentage second quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities, were in Tioga, down 28.2 percent; Cavalier, down 27.6 percent; Stanley, down 19.7 percent; Bottineau, down 13.5 percent; and Rugby, down 11.4 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Grant, up 70.9 percent; Richland, up 25 percent; Golden Valley, up 23.9 percent; Steele, up 22.4 percent; and Benson, up 22.2 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Logan, down 25.4 percent; Burke, down 22.5 percent; Bottineau, down 22 percent; Pembina, down 19.5 percent; and Williams, down 13.7 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report for Second Quarter 2013 is available on the Tax Department's web site at www.nd.gov/tax or follow the Tax Department on Facebook and YouTube.

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