Statewide taxable retail spending up 7.6 percent

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Business and consumer spending increased the state's taxable retail sales by 7.6 percent for the three months ending Sept. 30, according to figures released today by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Taxable retail sales for the third quarter of 2013 reached $31 billion, a $2.2 billion increase over the same period in 2012.

“The increase in taxable retail sales was driven by auto sales and new construction,” said Carol Nelson, the department's revenue director.

Third quarter store-only purchases also increased by 5.4 percent over the same period the year before. Store-only retail trade is a subset of total taxable retail sales and includes apparel, home furnishings, books, cars and general merchandise but excludes sales in industries such as manufacturing and construction.

Last week, the state reported that Clark County's third quarter retail sales had also improved, with spending up by 8 percent, to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion in the same period in 2012.