Island taxable retail sales return to 2008 level

An increase in business and consumer spending boosted the state’s taxable retail sales by 7.6 percent for the third quarter of 2013. Taxable retail sales between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2013 reached $31 billion – a $2.2 billion increase over the same period in 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue’s (Revenue) quarterly analysis.

For the City of Mercer Island, taxable retail sales jumped 14.49 percent in the third quarter ending in September last year over the same period a year earlier.

The amount of taxable retail sales in Mercer Island was $91.7 million for the 3rd quarter up from $80 million a year earlier.

The amount is still less that the amount that was counted in 2008, just as the recession began. The amount for the 3rd quarter of 2008 was $93 million.

“[Statewide}The increase in taxable retail sales was driven by auto sales and new construction,” Revenue Director Carol K. Nelson said. “This increase in spending shows that consumer confidence in Washington continues to improve and is at its highest level since the Great Recession.”

Third quarter retail trade purchases increased by 5.4 percent over the same time the year before.

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 included:

Most categories saw increases in third quarter taxable sales: Some notable examples included:

• E-commerce grew by 22.8 percent

• New and used car sales up by 11.4 percent

• Construction improved by 16.1 percent

• Manufacturing was up 10.6 percent

• Home furnishings rose 8.9 percent

• Health and drug stores increased 7.2 percent.

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