The state’s taxable retail sales totals grew to $27.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014 (Jan. 1-March 31), recording a 4.9 percent increase over the same period in 2013. Retail trade, a subset of total taxable retail sales, rose 2.4 percent to $12.3 billion.
The results come from a quarterly report released by the Washington State Department of Revenue of taxable retail sales by industry. The report compares the first quarters of 2014 to 2013, which equalizes any seasonal effects of consumer purchasing habits.
Taxable sales were up in many sectors:
• Construction of buildings – 6.1 percent
• Furniture and home furnishings – 6.4 percent
• New and used auto sales – 6.9 percent
• E-commerce and mail order sales – 18.9 percent
Some sectors saw a small decline, including department store purchases, which dropped -9.5 percent over the first three months of 2013.