Nevada Sales Way Up in October

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Taxable sales in Nevada jumped 12.1
percent in October compared with the same month last year, with big
gains reported in the construction, auto, clothing, and bar and
restaurant sectors, the Nevada Department of Taxation reported
Tuesday.

Merchants sold $3.5 billion in goods, on which the state
collected gross revenues of $270 million. The tax collections were
up 9.8 percent, and the $68.5 million that goes to the state
general fund is up a similar percentage.

Sales rose 9.3 percent in Clark County and 14.9 percent in
Washoe County, Nevada's two population centers that include Las
Vegas and Reno, respectively.

While sales from accommodations fell 8 percent statewide, sales
at bars and restaurants rose 11.7 percent. Both are key indicators
of Nevada's vital tourism economy.

The October report marks the second consecutive month of
double-digit gains and continues a 16-month streak of improved
sales.

All but one of Nevada's 17 counties reported improved sales
totals, with Lincoln County being the exception.

Nevada's construction industry, which was hammered under the
Great Recession when the state's housing bubble burst, reported a
gain of 44.5 percent in October. But a lot of that activity is in
rural counties, where one transaction or project can equate to a
big gain on paper but does not indicate a trend.

For example, sparsely populated Pershing County reported
combined taxable sales of $15 million in October, a 132 percent
increase over October 2010. Statewide, sales attributed to actual
construction of buildings fell 1.7 percent.

Elsewhere, total sales were up 1.5 percent in Carson City, and
46.2 percent in Elko, 6.4 percent in Douglas, 32.9 percent in
Churchill and 22.2 percent in Storey counties.

But there are some signs Nevada consumers, who clutched their
wallets during the recession, are easing their grip on spending.

Vehicle and auto parts sales rose nearly 13 percent in October,
while sales of durable goods were up nearly 7 percent. Clothing and
accessories stores saw a 12.2 percent increase, and home
furnishings rose 3.8 percent.

For the fiscal year that began July 1, the portion of sales and
use tax collections that fund state government were $5.5 million,
or 2 percent, above projections made in May by the independent
Economic Forum.

The forum is an appointed panel of fiscal experts who forecast
revenues on which the state budget is based.


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