Taxable Retail Sales Decline 10.8 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2008

OLYMPIA, Wash., April 8, 2009 — Taxable retail sales declined 10.8 percent to $27.7 billion during the fourth quarter of 2008, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported today.

Retail trade was down 11.9 percent to $12.1 billion when compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.  Retail trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales that excludes construction, services and other non-retail businesses.  Retail trade is a better measure of consumer purchases.

Among major industries, construction dropped 12.1 percent to $5.6 billion.  Motor vehicle and parts dropped 27.1 percent to $2.1 billion.  Accommodations and food services declined 5.0 percent to $2.5 billion, while building materials, garden equipment and supplies dropped 14.0 percent to $1.0 billion.

Results for the most populous counties:

  Taxable retail sales % change Retail trade % change
King $10.93 billion -12.9% $4.26 billion -14.0%
Pierce $2.84 billion -12.4% $1.37 billion -14.2%
Snohomish $2.62 billion -15.5% $1.33 billion -14.1%
Spokane $1.86 billion -7.47% $925.6 million -9.3%
Clark $1.10 billion -13.6% $497.3 million -11.5%

Results for cities with the most sales:

  Taxable retail sales % change Retail trade % change
Seattle $4.20 billion -7.45% $1.33 billion -10.3%
Bellevue $1.42 billion -14.1% $608.6 million -18.0%
Tacoma $1.05 billion -13.1% $493.9 million -15.6%
Spokane $1.02 billion -3.4% $501.7 million -4.7%
Everett $639.9 million -16.4% $295.6 million -16.0%

Results for all counties and selected cities, including breakdowns of sales by industry sector, are available here.

Breakdowns of taxable retail sales and retail trade by counties and cities, and a breakdown of sales statewide by industries are available here.

 

More information

Contact:
Media information
(360) 534-1602
KimS@dor.wa.gov

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