Posts tagged: Retail Sales

Arkansas Taxable Sales Update

By , December 4, 2012 12:23 PM

Figures released this morning by the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration show sales tax receipts were up 3.8% in November from a year earlier.  Generally, remissions of sales taxes correspond to sales that took place in the previous month, so the newest information indicate that Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) recovered substantially in October.  Sales tax receipts over the past four months have been considerably weaker than expected, falling notably below their trend growth rate.  The latest increase doesn’t replace the revenue shortfall that accumulated in prior months, but it does bring ATS closer to the average growth path that has emerged since the end of the recession.

Sources: Dept. of Finance & Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Average gasoline prices in Arkansas were down slightly in October (falling to $3.50 from $3.65 in September), but a forecast increase in sales volume is expected to boost total spending on gasoline for the month.  As a result, preliminary figures for Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) suggest an increase of 4.1% in October compared to the previous year.

Third Quarter Revisions
Complete data are now available for ATS and ATSIG for the third quarter of the year.  The final figures for September were slightly higher than the estimates used to project preliminary data. As a result, third quarter taxable sales were down 2.5%–an improvement from the 3.4% contraction in the preliminary report.  Compared to the previous year, third quarter ATS and ATSIG were both down 0.5%.

Sources: Dept. of Finance & Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

There is no obvious explanation for the weak taxable sales in recent months.  But the rebound in October is an encouraging sign as we move into the critical holiday sales season.  Overall, taxable sales in the fourth quarter are expected to be about 3 to 3-1/2% above their 2011 pace.

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Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q3 (Excel file)

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q3 (Preliminary*)

By , November 5, 2012 3:08 PM

With the release of the General Revenue Report for October, we now have enough information to calculate preliminary figures for Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) for the third quarter of 2012.  The sales tax collection figures dropped fairly sharply in June, and have shown little little sign of growth since then.  As a result, Arkansas Taxable Sales are down 3.4% in the third quarter, following a slight quarterly decline (-0.5%) in the second quarter of the year (seasonally adjusted).  Compared to the same period last year, third-quarter ATS was down 1.0%.

According to data from the Oil Price Information Service, monthly average gasoline prices in Arkansas have varied in a range of $3.22 to $3.74 per gallon so far in 2012.  On a quarterly average basis, however, gasoline prices have shown little movement this year.  Data on gasoline sales from the state’s Motor Fuels Tax section indicate a small increase in the third quarter (+3.3%) following a sharp decline in the second quarter.  As a result, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) was down 2.5% for the quarter, and down 0.9% from the third quarter of 2012.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The weakness of sales and use tax collections over the past three to four months has been unexpected, and at least somewhat puzzling.  Other sources of state revenue–notably the individual and corporate income taxes–have been showing robust year-over-year gains.  The second annual sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping may be partially responsible, but the magnitude of that effect is unlikely to account for the overall weakness in sales tax collections in the third quarter.  Growth in online shopping might also be expected to suppress sales tax collections, but that trend represents a long, gradual process and does not seem to be a likely candidate to explain third quarter growth specifically.  The recent weakness in sales tax collections does coincide with a slowdown in employment growth and unexpected weakness in home sales, but the information is too preliminary to conclude that we’re experiencing a broad-based economic slowdown in the second half of 2012.

At this point, the third quarter data are incomplete.  Final figures on sales and use tax collections are not yet available, nor are the data for gasoline sales in September (the gasoline component of ATSIG in this preliminary report is includes September figures that are derived from model-based estimates).  The data will be updated here on the pages of the Arkansas Economist when final information becomes available.

# # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q3 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for October 2012, and will be updated when information becomes available.

Arkansas Taxable Sales – Final Data for 2012:Q2

By , August 27, 2012 4:40 PM

CORRECTION – 9/6/12:  Due to a data transcription error, the previously-reported final figures for June 2012 (and hence, the second quarter) were incorrect.  The text, tables, chart, and downloadable spreadsheet below have been revised to reflect the corrected data.  The change results in year-over-year increases for ATS and ATSIG that are 0.1% higher than previously reported.

The final pieces of information are now available for calculating second-quarter Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS).  Due to particularly weak sales and use tax collections in July (corresponding to June sales), ATS declined 0.5% from the first quarter of the year (seasonally adjusted).  The preliminary estimate had shown a decline of only 0.3%.  Gasoline sales were also lower in June than previously estimated, so Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) declined even more sharply — down 1.4%.  The quarterly declines represented a slowdown in longer-run growth:  Compared to a year earlier, ATS was up 4.6% and ATSIG was up 3.9%.

Sources: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The figure below illustrates that the second-quarter weakness in sales was primarily concentrated in June.  A single monthly data observation is never enough to establish a trend — it is always possible that the sales decline in June was a statistical anomaly.  Given the concurrent slowdown in national retail sales in the second quarter, however, the latest data on ATS provides some cause for concern about the robustness of Arkansas’ economic growth over the summer months.  We’ll be closely monitoring third quarter data as it emerges.

Sources: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

# # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q2 (Excel file)

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q2 (Preliminary*)

By , August 6, 2012 4:13 PM

Weakness in sales and use tax collections in July suggests a downturn in Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) in the second quarter.  According to the data from the July general revenue report – which roughly correspond to sales during the month of June — sales tax receipts were down 0.6% from the same month a year earlier.  On a quarterly average basis, this implies that ATS declined by 0.3 from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2012.

Declining gasoline prices drove a sharp decline in gasoline sales as well.  The average price of gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Arkansas was $3.22 in June, down from a peak of $3.74 in April.  Total sales of gasoline are estimated to have fallen 9.9% in the second quarter.  Consequently, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) fell even more sharply than ATS:  down 1.2% for the quarter.

Despite the weakness in the most recent data, relatively strong growth in the previous three quarters imply that both ATS and ATSIG are well above their year-ago levels.  From 2011:Q2 through 2012:Q2, ATS expanded by 4.8% and ATSIG was up by 4.2%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The second quarter weakness in taxable sales was due entirely to an apparent downturn in sales during the final month of the quarter.  Hence, it would be premature to be concerned about ongoing weakness.  Nevertheless, the second quarter downturn parallels a similar slowdown in national retail sales, suggesting that the Arkansas data may not simply be a statistical anomaly.  Preliminary data from the Census Bureau shows that U.S. Retail Sales were down nearly 0.4% in the second quarter, matching the approximate timing and magnitude of the weakness in Arkansas Taxable Sales.

Sources: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, U.S. Census Bureau, Institute for Economic Advancement

At this point, the second quarter data are preliminary.  Final figures on sales and use tax collections in July are not yet available, nor are the data for gasoline sales in June (the gasoline component of ATSIG in this preliminary report is includes June figures that are derived from model-based estimates).   The data will be updated here on the pages of the Arkansas Economist when final information is available.

# # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q2 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for July 2012, and will be updated when information becomes available.

Update: Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q1

By , June 8, 2012 10:46 AM

Final data are now in for first-quarter taxable sales.  The quarterly growth of taxable sales in the first quarter was slightly weaker than was indicated by the preliminary report, but sales continue to show strong year-over-year growth.   Excluding gasoline sales, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) was up 1.3% for the quarter — and 5.2% higher than the first quarter of 2011.  With higher gas prices in the first quarter boosting overall fuel expenditures Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) was up 2.0% for the quarter and is 5.8% higher than the previous year.  Over the past three quarters, ATSIG has been growing at an annual rate of 7 to 8%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Preliminary information for April shows a decline from the previous month, but longer term trend show continued robust growth.  From March to April, ATSIG declined by 0.4% (seasonally adjusted).  Compared to April of 2011, however, ATSIG was up 5.9%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

 # # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q1 (Excel file)

 

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q1 (Preliminary*)

By , May 10, 2012 10:55 AM

Recently-released sales tax data from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration indicate that Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) increased by 1.7% in the first quarter of the year (seasonally adjusted). ATS growth had slowed to zero in the latter half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, but the most recent observation represents the third consecutive quarter of impressive growth.  On average, ATS has increased at a 7.9% annual rate over the past three quarters.

Gasoline prices were up in the first quarter, averaging $3.44 for a gallon of regular unleaded (up 22 cents from the fourth quarter of 2011).  Seasonally-adjusted gasoline sales also increased.  As a result, spending on gasoline increased by 9.1% and Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) increased by 2.3%.  ATSIG growth in the first quarter was stronger than expected, coming in 1.8% ahead of the pace implicit in the most recent forecast posted on the Arkansas Economist.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The growth of ATSIG continues to compare favorably to statistics on national retail sales.  According to recently-revised data from the Census Bureau, U.S. Retail Sales increased by a total of 5.3% over the past three quarters.  Over the same period, ATSIG increased by 6.3%.

Sources: Census Bureau, Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

# # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2012:Q1 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for April 2012, and will be updated when information becomes available.

Updated Forecasts for 2012 and 2013

By , March 29, 2012 1:00 PM

At the Arkansas State University Economic Outlook Conference today, we presented revised and updated forecasts for some key economic indicators for the Arkansas economy.  At the time that the original forecasts were complied in late October 2011, data for some series were available only through the first half of the year (e.g., personal income).  Some of the statistics that were available through the third quarter have subsequently been revised (particularly employment data).  Hence, the original projections for 2012 and 2013 incorporated forecast estimates of how 2011 would turn out.  Now that we have at least preliminary data for all of 2011, it seems a propitious time to revisit the forecasts.

In general, the data have confirmed our expectations that 2011 would show a slowdown in the pace of  the economic recovery overall, but with clear signs of improvement in the final months of the year.  In some cases, our expectations for improvement in the waning months of 2011 were exceeded — in other cases our outlook was overly optimistic.  Accordingly, the forecast revisions are mixed. And the outlook — in broad strokes — continues to be one of steady but unremarkable growth as we slowly emerge from the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession.

Personal Income
Yesterday’s data-release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that total Personal Income in Arkansas grew by 3.7 percent in 2011 (Q4/Q4).  This fell closely in line with our forecast of 3.6% growth for the year.  Hence revisions to the outlook are minor.  Due, in part, to lower-than-expected transfer payments in the second half of 2011, the forecast for personal income growth in 2012 has been revised down from 5.1% to 5.0%.  The forecast for 2013 is unchanged at 3.9%.

Personal Income

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Institute for Economic Advancement

Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline
Our proxy for state retail sales, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG), finished 2011 with a Q4/Q4 growth rate of 5.0% — slightly higher than the 4.4% rate in the forecast.  Some of this strength is expected to continue into 2012, prompting a slight upward growth revision from 3.2% to 3.3%.  (The slowdown from 2011 reflects, in part, the expectation of slightly lower inflation rate.)  Our original forecast included a (somewhat anomalous) slowdown in growth for 2013 (2.0%).  Such a slowdown now appears less likely, and we are now forecasting 2013 growth of 3.9%.

Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline

Sources: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Home Sales
Arkansas home sales had been steadily improving during 2011 (on a seasonally-adjusted basis), but after having been supported by home-buyer tax credit programs in the previous two years, 2011 was still expected to be have the lowest total annual sales volume in recent memory.  Sales in the last three months of the year were fairly strong, but were somewhat below our expectations.  Compared to the previous year, total sales volume was down slightly more than forecasted: down 2.5% from the previous year’s (revised) sales figures.  Carrying this weakness forward into the projected sales trajectory, the forecasts for 2012 and 2013 have been revised downward.  Expectations of a double-digit growth rate in 2012 have given way to a revised forecast of +7.5%.  Sales are still expected to improve by 4.3% in 2013, but end the year with a lower sales volume than previously forecasted.

Home Sales

Sources: Arkansas Realtors Association, Institute for Economic Advancement

Payroll Employment
At the UALR Arkansas Economic Forecast Conference, we predicted that downward revisions to the payroll employment data would show that the year would end with a lower level of employment than the previous year — in sharp contrast to data that was available at the time.  The actual data revision was slightly larger than anticipated, showing a Q4/Q4 employment loss of 0.4%, rather than the 0.2% that had been forecasted.  Nevertheless, relatively strong job growth did materialize in the fourth quarter of 2011, as anticipated.  Accordingly, the growth path for employment has not been revised (+1.3% in 2012 and +1.5% in 2013), but the path has been benchmarked to a slightly lower starting point.

Payroll Employment

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Institute for Economic Advancement

Unemployment Rate
Unemployment rate data for 2011 were also recently revised.  The updated statistics showed that unemployment was not quite as high in mid-2011 as previously estimated.  Moreover, the rate dropped over the last three months of the year much more rapidly than expected.  Consequently, our unemployment rate forecasts have been revised downward significantly.  2011 ended with a rate of 7.9%, instead of the expected 8.2% rate.  The downward trajectory of unemployment has been adjusted downward from this lower starting point.  We now expect the unemployment rate to average 7.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 (instead of 7.9%) and to fall to 7.0% by the fourth quarter of 2013 (instead of 7.6%).  These would be welcome developments, if realized.  The risk to this revised forecast is that new entrants and re-entrants to the labor force might put upward pressure on the unemployment rate as the labor market continues to improve.

Unemployment Rate

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Institute for Economic Advancement

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Methodological Note:  The original forecasts of November 2011 were produced using the Moody’s Economy.com Arkansas model, benchmarked to a composite of national economic forecasts.  The revised projections presented here represent adjustments to the original forecasts in light of new and revised data.   Underlying forecast assumptions and model estimates were not generally re-evaluated as a part of this exercise, but updated model forecasts for the unemployment rate and retail sales were factored into the analysis.

Revised Data on Arkansas Taxable Sales

By , March 19, 2012 4:19 PM

Final data on Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) for 2011:Q4 are now available, but there is little news to report.  Based on new information from the Department of Finance and Administration on sales tax and gasoline tax receipts, the data on both ATS and the broader measure — Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) — were nearly identical to our preliminary estimates.  Growth rates for both measures are summarized in the table below.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Preliminary data for January are now available as well.  Taxable sales in January were up 0.55% from the previous month (a 6.7% annual rate).  Compared to the previous January, ATS was up 6.0%.  With gasoline prices rising, ATSIG rose even more sharply in January.  Compared to the previous month, ATSIG was up by over a full percentage point (approximately a 12.6% annual rate).  From the previous year, ATSIG was up by 6.4%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

#  #  #

The Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) series is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales.  The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here:  Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2011:Q4 (Excel file)

 

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2011:Q4 (Preliminary)

By , February 2, 2012 12:58 PM

Preliminary data show that Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) rose by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011, and were up 5.1% from the previous year.  Excluding gasoline, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) were up 1.9% in the fourth quarter.  After a period of approximately zero growth from mid-2010 through mid-2011, ATS expanded by 4.2% in the second half of 2011.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

 

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The preliminary ATS data are based on monthly revenue reports from the Department of Finance and Administration.  Their latest report indicated fairly strong growth in Gross Receipts in January (+4.9% from the previous year).  Gross Receipts is a measure that primarily reflects sales and use taxes, with approximately a one month lag.  Hence, the report suggests that holiday sales in December 2011 were much improved over the previous year.  Final figures for Arkansas sales and use tax receipts will be available with the release of the January 2012 issue of Arkansas Fiscal Notes.

Gasoline sales data for the fourth quarter are incomplete, but preliminary estimates suggest an increase of approximately 1% — in spite of lower gas prices.  According to the oil price information service, the average price of gasoline in Arkansas was $3.22 in the fourth quarter — down from $3.49 in the third quarter.

The growth in ATSIG in the second half of 2011 brings Arkansas sales growth back in line with national retail sales.  According to the Census Bureau, U.S. Retail Sales increased by 1.2% in the third quarter and 1.9% in the fourth quarter.  ATSIG had been lagging behind in early 2011, but slightly outpaced U.S. retail sales in the second half of the year.  For the year as a whole, U.S. retail sales rose 6.9% compared to the 5.1% figure for ATSIG.

Sources: Census Bureau, Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

 #  #  #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales.  The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here:  Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2011:Q4 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for January 2012, and will be updated when information becomes available.

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2011:Q3 (Preliminary*)

By , November 9, 2011 9:00 AM

The latest monthly revenue report from the Department of Finance and Administration indicated another slow month for sales tax collections in October (corresponding to transactions in September).  Nevertheless, strength in the previous month propelled the non-gasoline component of Arkansas Taxable Sales to a healthy increase of 1.8% in third quarter (seasonally adjusted).*  And despite a decline in gasoline prices relative to the second quarter, gasoline expenditures rose by 3%.  Overall, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) rose by 1.9%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

The third-quarter increase in ATSIG represents a wecome recovery from the decline recorded in the second quarter.  And in fact, growth in the previous two quarters would have been slower had it not been for higher gasoline expenditures associated with a price spike.  The third quarter growth rate appears to indicate a resurgence of growth after a year-long slowdown.

Relative to U.S. Retail Sales, the third quarter increase in ATSIG also represents an improvement (see chart, below).  Arkansas had fallen behind in the pace of overall sales growth during late 2010 and early 2011, but the 1.9% increase in the third quarter exceeded the U.S. growth rate of 1.1%.

Sources:  U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Institute for Economic Advancement

One important caveat to the third quarter figures should be mentioned:  The totals for ATSIG do not include tax-exempt expenditures associated with the new back-to-school sales tax holiday in August.  Information is sketchy on the magnitude of this sales surge.  But if DF&A estimates are correct,  August sales were actually about 1% higher than implied by the sales tax data.  This corresponds to a 0.3% increase in quarterly growth, raising ATS growth in the third quarter to over 2%.

#  #  #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales.  The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.

A spreadsheet of the data is available here:  Arkansas Taxable Sales Data 2011:Q3 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for October 2011, and will be updated when information becomes available.

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