Nevada sales up 9.3 percent in January

Taxable sales in Nevada up 9.3 percent in January; big gains seen in several sectors

Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Taxable sales in Nevada jumped 9.3 percent in January over the same month a year ago, buoyed by strong gains in several sectors, the state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday.

Merchants sold $3.4 billion in goods during the month, on which the state collected $272 million in gross sales and use taxes.

Sales of motor vehicles and parts were up nearly 15 percent over January 2012, while construction trades saw an 83 percent increase — a welcome sign in the wake of the Great Recession that led to the implosion of Nevada's housing market.

Other big gains were realized in sales at general merchandise stores, up 13.1 percent; accommodations, up 26.1 percent; and clothing and accessories, up 11.2 percent.

Likewise, sales at food and beverage stores rose 10.5 percent, while home furnishings were 11.6 percent.

Accommodations, a key indicator on the health of Nevada's vital tourism economy, rose 26.1 percent in January, but bars and restaurants saw only a minimal 1.5 percent increase over the same month in 2012.

In Clark County, the state's economic engine and home to more than 70 percent of the population, sales of $2.5 billion were up 8.2 percent. In northern Nevada's Washoe County, sales totaling $426 million were up 7.4 percent. In all, 12 of Nevada's 17 counties posted positive results in January, the report said.

Excise taxes collected on such things as tobacco, liquor and live entertainment totaled $24.9 million in January, an increase of 7.6 percent.

The portion of gross sales and use taxes collected in January that go to fund state government totaled $68.7 million, up 9.7 percent. But for the fiscal year that began July, 1,those revenues are about 1.2 percent or $6.6 million below projections made late last year by the Economic Forum.

The forum is an independent panel of business and finance experts who try to predict revenues and how much the state will have to spend in the next two-year budget cycle. The forecast must be used by the governor and state legislators when putting together a budget.

The Economic Forum will meet again in early May, about a month before the 2013 Legislature ends, to get an update on the state's economy and revise its projections before lawmakers adopt a final budget for the next two years.

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