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Consumer spending helps spur robust increases in state, county taxable sales

Consumer spending helped drive healthy increases in state and local taxable sales in February.

The dollar volume of goods sold by businesses statewide came in at $3.51 billion in the month, up 4.6 percent from $3.36 billion a year earlier, the state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday.

The jump in Clark County was even bigger: Merchants here rang up $2.67 billion in sales, a 10.4 percent gain compared with $2.41 billion in February 2013.

Bars and restaurants, which made up more than a quarter of all local spending in February, were the biggest contributor to higher sales countywide. The industry boosted its year-over-year sales by about $70 million, or 11 percent, to $715.5 million.

Dealers of cars and car parts saw a sales jump of nearly $35 million, or 11.9 percent, to $306.5 million. Merchant wholesalers of big-ticket durable goods such as office equipment posted a sales spike of about $20 million, or 5.8 percent, to $145.2 million.

Other categories that experienced sales gains included building material and garden equipment and supply stores, up about $7 million, to $86.4 million, and telecommunications, up roughly $9 million, to $32.9 million.

And while construction-related spending plummeted 77.4 percent statewide, building-sector sales actually spiked by $9 million, or 27.3 percent, to $42.4 million.

Taxable sales help fund prisons and schools. Gross revenue from sales and use taxes were up 5.8 percent year over year in February, to $280.4 million.

The General Fund portion of sales and use taxes was 1.8 percent, or $11.7 million, below forecasts of the Economic Forum, a nonpartisan group that sets revenue projections for state budgets.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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