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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
Thursday, July 18, 2013 Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039

2013 First Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Slow But Stable

BISMARCK, N.D. North Dakota's statewide economy slowed but remained stable during January, February, and March of 2013, Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced today in releasing a key economic report. The report shows North Dakota's total taxable sales and purchases were $5.441 billion, up $86.3 million from the first quarter 2012, representing a modest increase of 1.61 percent.

"This report demonstrates that North Dakota's economy continued to hold its own at the start of 2013," said Fong. "While today's numbers point to a slowdown in the rate of growth when compared to the same quarter in 2012, the report is a reflection of the stability in North Dakota's diverse economy and reflects a leveling off to a more sustainable pace."

Nine of fifteen sectors reported growth during the first three months of 2013. The Wholesale trade sector grew the most in terms of dollars, growing $80.9 million or 6.6 percent.

"The wholesale trade sector is an especially important sector because it reflects strong confidence by the state's businesses," said Fong. "A strong showing in this sector is encouraging and suggests that businesses continued to make investments and build up their inventories."

In terms of percentage increases, the utilities sector grew the most of the major industry sectors, growing 58.3 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2012. Other sectors showing gains include: miscellaneous, rising 76.2 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing grew 22.1 percent; information industries grew 13.3 percent; educational, health care, and social services grew 10.8 percent; wholesale trade, up 6.6 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services, up 4.3 percent; retail trade grew 2 percent; and manufacturing remained relatively flat, growing 0.9 percent.

Six sectors were down, including: transportation and warehousing, declined by 39 percent; construction declined by 18.1 percent; mining and oil extraction declined by 7.3 percent; arts, entertainment and recreation declined by 7 percent; other services declined by 3 percent; and accommodation and food services was relatively flat, declining by 0.6 percent.

"The impact of the prolonged severe winter weather affected our key industry sectors like mining and oil extraction, construction, and transportation and warehousing," said Fong. "In addition, rising fuel costs likely added to the challenges faced by businesses, ag producers, and individuals alike."

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for the first quarter of 2013 were Northwood, up 42 percent; Grafton, up 39 percent; Washburn, up 30.9 percent; Carrington, up 30.2 percent; and Wishek up 29.5 percent.

The biggest percentage first quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were Kenmare, down 44.7 percent; Walhalla, down 31.6 percent; Park River, down 31 percent; Bowman, down 29.8 percent; and Cando down 26.9 percent.

Counties with the highest percentage increases were Logan, up 96.2 percent; Grant, up 46.9 percent; Oliver, up 36.8 percent; Foster, up 31.1 percent; and Ransom up 27.2 percent.

The counties with the biggest percentage decreases were Billings, down 44.2 percent; Bowman, down 27.8 percent; Towner, down 25.2 percent; Steele, down 25.2 percent; and Benson down 21.9 percent.

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

Taxpayers can stay up-to-date on North Dakota tax-related matters by visiting the Tax Department's web site at www.nd.gov/tax or connecting with the Tax Department on Facebook and YouTube.

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