State’s retail sales up 7.4 percent in most recent state report

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Washington state’s taxable retail sales increased 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2016 over the same quarter in 2015, reaching $38.5 billion. Retail trade, which is a subset of all taxable retail sales, rose 5.8 percent to $16.33 billion.

These figures are part of a quarterly report released this month by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Benton County’s retail sales grew to $967.3 million, or 1.6 percent, and Franklin County’s to $367 million, or 8 percent, over the same quarter last year.

Kennewick’s total dipped 2.6 percent to $510 million, while Pasco’s increased 11.3 percent to $324.9 million and Richland grew 6.7 percent to $310.6 million.

Here’s a statewide snapshot of taxable retail sales activity:

  • Sales reported by new and used auto dealers increased 6.9 percent, reaching $3.36 billion.
  • Lawn and garden supplies and equipment sales rose by 17.3 percent to $176.9 million
  • Drug and health stores’ sales rose 19.6 percent, reaching $672 million.
  • Taxable e-commerce and mail order sales increased 10.5 percent to $663 million.

The taxable retail sales figures compare the same quarter year-over-year to equalize any seasonal effects that would influence consumer and business spending decisions.

The Department of Revenue in Washington collected $22.4 billion in tax revenues in fiscal year 2016. These funds support education, social services, health care, corrections, public safety, natural resources conservation and other public services.