Posts tagged: Retail Sales

Arkansas Taxable Sales – Final Figures for 2013:Q1

By , May 21, 2013 3:31 PM

Final figures for Arkansas Taxable Sales are now in:  The revised statistics are essentially unchanged from the preliminary data we published two weeks ago.  Based on state sales tax receipts, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) were up 0.3% in the first quarter.  Compared to the first quarter of 2012, sales were up 0.5%.  Incorporating data from the state’s motor fuel tax, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) were also up 0.3% for the quarter — and unchanged from the previous year.

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

Since the recession trough of 2009:Q2, ATS has increased by 12.1% — averaging 3.1% growth at an annual rate.  The corresponding increase for ATSIG is 15.1% — an annual growth rate of 3.8%.  Over that 15-quarter period, inflation has averaged 2.0%, implying that real (inflation-adjusted) sales growth has averaged 1.1% to 1.8%.

By comparison, Census data on national retail sales show a 14-quarter increase of 24.5% — an average annual rate of 6.0%, or 4.0% after inflation.

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

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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 2013:Q1 (Excel file)

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2013:Q1 (Preliminary*)

By , May 7, 2013 3:50 PM

Information from last week’s General Revenue Report suggested continued slow growth in Arkansas Taxable Sales.  Sales and Use tax collections in April were down 2.5% from April 2012, and were 6.5% below forecast.  For the first quarter of 2013, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) increased 0.2% from the previous quarter (seasonally adjusted).  Following a 3.3% increase in the first quarter, ATS is now up 0.5% from the previous year, having offset the declines we saw in the second and third quarters of 2012.

Sales of gasoline were up 0.3% in 2013:Q1, so the gasoline component of Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) had little effect on the total.  ATSIG was up 0.2% from the previous quarter and was unchanged from the previous year.

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

 # # #

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 2013:Q1 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for April 2013, and will be updated when information becomes available.   The preliminary data also include model-based estimates of gasoline sales for March.  Final figures will incorporate official estimates from DFA’s Motor Fuel Tax section.

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q4

By , March 28, 2013 2:52 PM

Final figures are now available for Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) in 2012.  After two quarters of contraction, taxable sales rebounded sharply in the fourth quarter of the year.  Not including gasoline, ATS increased by 3.5% in the fourth quarter — a larger increase than had been indicated by preliminary data.   With gasoline prices down slightly in the fourth quarter, total gasoline sales increased by only 0.8%.  Consequently, the increase in Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) was slightly smaller than ATS growth:  3.2%.  On a year-over-year basis, ATS and ATSIG were up 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

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

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

The downturn in taxable sales during the second and third quarters of 2012 has been something of a mystery.  In particular, it seemed to be taking place against a backdrop of fairly steady economic growth suggested by other economic indicators.  However, recent data revisions to personal income and employment have provided corroborating evidence that economic activity slowed noticably in the third quarter.  The 2012 experieence shows how sales tax data can sometimes provide more accurate and timely information about the state of the Arkansas economy than the “official” data produced by Federal government agencies (which are often subject to considerable revision over time).

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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 2012:Q4 (Excel file)

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2012:Q4 (Preliminary*)

By , February 7, 2013 2:57 PM

The most recent General Revenue Report  from the Department of Finance and Administration (DF&A) indicated a slight decline in sales and use tax revenue compared to the previous year, but both of the previous months’ reports had shown year-over-year increases.  As a result, preliminary figures for Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) for the fourth quarter of 2012 show a rebound after two consecutive quarters of decline.  Fourth quarter taxable sales were up 3% from the previous quarter (seasonally adjusted) and were 0.9% higher than the fourth quarter of 2011.

According to data from the Oil Price Information Service, monthly average gasoline prices in Arkansas declined over the quarter, falling from $3.65 per gallon in September to $3.11 in December.  On a quarterly average basis, , gasoline prices declined from an average of $3.46 in the third quarter to $3.27 in the fourth quarter.  Preliminary information on gasoline sales from DF&A’s Motor Fuels Tax section indicate that fourth quarter sales declined slightly from the third quarter — but less than is typical for that time of year.  So after seasonal adjustment, total gasoline sales were up 2.4%.  Consequently, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) were up 2.9% — nearly the same rate of increase as ATS.

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 taxable sales growth during the second and third quarters of 2012 remains somewhat mysterious.  Available data on income and employment in Arkansas did not show notable weakness over that period, but those measures are subject to future revision.  National retail sales statistics showed a decline in the second quarter, but  rebounded in the third quarter.  Regardless of the cause of the mid-year slump, the fourth quarter recovery suggests positive momentum for consumer and business spending going into 2013.

At this point, the fourth quarter data are incomplete.  Final figures on sales and use tax collections are not yet available, nor are the data for gasoline sales in December (the gasoline component of ATSIG in this preliminary report is includes December 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 2012:Q4 (Excel file)

* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for January 2013, and will be updated when information becomes available.

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

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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: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.

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