News Column

Taxable Retail Sales Up 5.8 Percent in Fourth Quarter

April 29, 2014



OLYMPIA, Wash., April 29 -- The Washington State Department of Revenue issued the following news release:

In a sign that the state's economy continues to improve, taxable retail sales were up in the fourth quarter of 2013 by 5.8 percent. Taxable retail sales between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 reached $31.1 billion - a $1.7 billion increase over the same period in 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue's (Revenue) quarterly analysis.

Fourth quarter retail trade purchases increased by 4.9 percent over the same time the previous year, to $14.7 billion.

Retail trade is a subset of total taxable retail sales and includes purchases of clothes, home furnishings, books, cars and general merchandise but excludes sales in industries such as manufacturing and construction.

Largest gains in taxable sales

Most categories saw increases in fourth quarter taxable sales:

* E-commerce grew by 19.7 percent, to $599 million

* New and used car sales up by 11.4 percent, to $2.5 billion

* Lawn care supplies increased by 11.4 percent, to $119 million

* Manufacturing was up 10.6 percent, to $611 million

* Health and drug stores rose 8.1 percent, to $461 million

* Home furnishings were up 7.4 percent, to $551 million

Fourth quarter 2013 figures | Sales in the five most populous counties:

View table here (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/newsroom/2014/042914.aspx)

Fourth quarter 2013 figures | Cities with the most sales:

View table here (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/newsroom/2014/042914.aspx)

Taxable retail sales and retail trade by county and city, and a breakdown of sales statewide by industries are available here (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/newsroom/2014/trs-QT42013.aspx). Results for all counties and selected cities, including breakdowns of sales by industry sector, are available here (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/StatisticsAndReports/2013/qbr413/default.aspx).

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