4Q taxable retail sales reach $1.2 billion in county

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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Taxable retail sales reached $29.5 billion statewide during the last three months of 2012, a 5.6 percent increase from the same period a year ago, the Washington state Department of Revenue reported Thursday.

In Clark County, taxable retail sales increased 5.3 percent to $1.2 billion during the 2012 fourth quarter. Vancouver reported an even larger increase during the same period, with sales of $678 million, up 4.1 percent from a year ago.

The narrower category of retail trade, which counts retail store sales but excludes other sectors, such as construction and services, rose 4.9 percent over the same period a year ago to $14 billion statewide during the fourth quarter.

Retail trade for Clark County totaled $564 million, a 4.8 percent increase. Vancouver reported $316 million in retail trade, up 3.6 percent.

Among major industry groups statewide, construction rose 9.6 percent to $4.7 billion; accommodations and food services increased 7 percent to $3.1 billion; motor vehicles and parts were up 10.3 percent to $2.9 billion; and general merchandise store sales increased 1.3 percent to $3.1 billion.