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Published June 14 2012

North Dakota economy continues to soar with 39 percent increase in taxable sales, purchases

BISMARCK - North Dakota's economy continues to soar, with the state's taxable sales and purchases increasing 39 percent from 2010 to 2011 to more than $19 billion.

Tax Commissioner Cory Fong released two reports Thursday highlighting the strength of North Dakota’s economy.

During October, November and December 2011, North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases were $6.155 billion, up $2.014 billion or 48.6 percent, compared to the fourth quarter 2010.

In 2011, North Dakota’s economy continued to expand with statewide growth in all industry sectors but one, Fong said in a news release. The educational, health care and social services sector declined 5.4 percent.

Retail trade, the largest sector in terms of dollars, grew by 14.4 percent when comparing 2011 to 2010, or more than four times the rate of inflation.

“Retail trade is the sector often looked to as a measurement of the consumer’s pocketbook,” Fong said in a statement. “The growth in retail trade confirms that North Dakota consumer confidence remained strong throughout last year.”

The annual report includes statistics for the largest 200 cities in the state, of which 162 cities reported increases and 38 reported decreases compared to 2010.

Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot reported growth ranging from 8 percent in Grand Forks to 39.7 percent in Minot. These four cities increased taxable sales and purchases by $6.582 billion over 2010, a news release said.

Ray led the growth of all cities with an increase of 635 percent over 2010. Frontier was next, increasing by 616.9 percent. Halliday was up 377.1 percent, Glenburn 154.2 percent and Tioga 148.8 percent.

Cities reporting the sharpest decline compared to 2011 include Reile’s Acres at 63.2 percent, Davenport 35.5 percent, Golden Valley 35.3 percent, Gackle 34.5 percent and Willow City 33.5 percent.

Included in the fourth-quarter report are statistics for each of the state’s counties. Billings County led all counties in growth during October, November and December 2011 with a 134.3 percent increase over 2010, followed by Williams County at 104.8 percent, Mountrail County 104.4 percent, McKenzie County 76.8 percent and Golden Valley County 68 percent.

Counties recording the sharpest decline were Slope County by 36.8 percent, Pembina County by 13.1 percent, Grant County by 6.4 percent, Traill County by 3.8 percent and Hettinger County by 3.1 percent.

Fourteen of 15 industries reported growth for the year 2011. Mining and oil extraction were up 98.4 percent; financial, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing were up 95.4 percent; transportation and warehousing were up 83.1 percent; wholesale trade was up 50 percent; construction was up 42.7 percent; manufacturing was up 39.7 percent; accommodation and food services were 15.5 percent; retail trade was up 14.4 percent; professional, scientific, technical, and management services were up 5.3 percent; arts, entertainment, and recreation were up 5 percent; utilities was up 1.5 percent; and information industries was up 1.4 percent.

The full reports are available on the Tax Department’s website at www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/pubs/.