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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: Ryan Rauschenberger, Tax Commissioner, 701.328.2771
   Kathryn Strombeck, Research Analyst, 701.328.3402
Thursday, July 10, 2014 Peggy Brintnell, Executive Assistant, 701.328.2771

Rauschenberger: First Quarter Taxable Sales and Purchases Show Growth is Continuing in 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announced today that North Dakota's economy grew at a healthy pace during the first quarter of 2014, which encompasses January, February, and March. According to the economic report, North Dakota's first quarter 2014 total taxable sales and purchases were $5.688 billion, up $239 million from the first quarter 2013, for a moderate increase of 4.4 percent.

"This is a very good report, highlighting the fact that North Dakota's economy continues to expand on top of the rapid pace of growth in the past several years," said Rauschenberger. "It is very good news, especially since these sales took place in the middle of a difficult winter in North Dakota."

The wholesale trade sector showed the most growth in taxable sales and purchases, with the total rising $176 million compared to the first quarter 2013. The retail trade sector, the sector most often looked to as a measure of consumer confidence, grew the second most in dollars, increasing by $40 million, nearly a 3 percent expansion. The accommodation and food services sector grew by $25 million, or 6.4 percent, due to a combination of winter tourism as well as the arrival of job seekers, potentially pursing jobs and housing in the state. In all, more than half eight out of fifteen industry sectors posted increases in the first quarter.

Of the sectors reporting declines, mining and oil extraction, down $29 million, was the sector with the most significant drop in taxable sales and purchases. The utilities sector decreased by $16 million, or 27 percent. The construction sector fell $11 million, a decrease of 7 percent.

"The mining and oil extraction sector has experienced explosive growth in recent quarters. This decrease reflects a continuation of the maturing of the Bakken Play, including the use of more efficient, less costly drilling methods. We are pleased to see moderating of the hectic pace of growth, to a level that is both more sustainable and more predictable," said Rauschenberger. "Similarly, the construction sector is showing moderation as well."

Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest percentage increases for the first quarter of 2014 were Kenmare, up 93 percent; Cando, up 46 percent; Watford City, up 32 percent; and Dickinson and Lincoln, both up 24 percent.

The biggest percentage first quarter decreases for the 50 largest cities were Northwood, down 31 percent; Grafton, down 29 percent; Lisbon, down 28 percent; Ellendale, down 20 percent; and Garrison, down 18 percent.

The complete North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Statistical Report for First Quarter 2014 is available on the Tax Department's web site at: www.nd.gov/tax.

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  • Sales & Use Tax Statistical Report: 1st Quarter 2014
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