State sees increase in taxable sales, purchasesTaxable sales and purchases for the fourth quarter of 2009 increased in North Dakota when compared to 2007 which continues with the trend toward economic growth, said Cory Fong, North Dakota tax commissioner. High energy and commodity prices in 2008 created a banner year for taxable sales and purchases, he said.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Taxable sales and purchases for the fourth quarter of 2009 increased in North Dakota when compared to 2007 which continues with the trend toward economic growth, said Cory Fong, North Dakota tax commissioner.
High energy and commodity prices in 2008 created a banner year for taxable sales and purchases, he said.
When 2008 is eliminated from the equation, the overall growth can be seen. The fourth quarter 2009 is down from the fourth quarter of 2008.
“We’re still on a pretty good upward trend for taxable sales and purchases,” Fong said.
Statewide, the fourth quarter taxable sales and purchases of 2009 dipped by about $270 million when compared to 2008. But when compared to 2007, the fourth quarter of 2009 grew by more than $300 million.
Even with 2008 being the anomaly it was for taxable sales and purchases, Jamestown and Stutsman County saw an increase for the fourth quarter in 2009.
“This is actually good when you consider other population centers across the state didn’t fare as well,” Fong said.
Jamestown’s taxable sales and purchases increased by 1.45 percent or slightly less than $1 million. Fargo dropped .42 percent from 2008 to 2009, Bismarck grew by a quarter of a percent, Grand Forks grew at about the same rate as Jamestown, and Minot increased by about $15 million or 6.34 percent.
Overall, the taxable sales and purchases for 2009 when compared to 2008 dropped by about 8 percent.
Wholesale trade, which includes new farm machinery, and retail trade, or discretionary spending, were strong for Jamestown in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“Things are starting to come back and I think the fourth quarter retail numbers are a good sign of that,” Fong said.
Wholesale trade is up more than $1 million, and retail trade increased more than $600,000.
“We see it as a very good sign in consumer spending,” Fong said of increased retail trade across the state.
He is optimistic of growth because the fourth quarter that comprised the holiday season saw an increase for retail spending in Jamestown.
“Given the trend nationally I think that’s a very good sign,” Fong said.
While North Dakota has felt some signs of the national recession, like softening in sales and income, he said he questions whether the state really had a recession.
“North Dakota for the most part has really stayed out of the jungle,” he said.
Fong said he still remains cautious about how crops still left in the field from last year and summer weather will affect the agriculture industry. He said he is also cautious about energy costs and what fluctuating prices could do to markets in the state.
But Fong said he remains optimistic because the first quarter in 2010 is looking strong.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by e-mail at email@example.com