Preliminary data on Arkansas sales and use tax collection show that Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) increased by 2.1% in the first quarter of 2014 (seasonally adjusted). The first quarter increase follows two consecutive quarterly declines in the second half of 2013. Incorporating information on gasoline prices and sales, a broader measure of sales — Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) — increased by 2.2%.
On a year over year basis, ATS was up 3.6% and ATSIG was up 2.8%. From the trough of the recession (2009:Q2) through the most recent quarter, ATS and ATSIG have expanded at average annual rates of 3.2% and 3.7%, respectively.
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Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data. Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.
A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales 2014:Q1(P) (Excel file)
* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for April 2014, and will be updated when information becomes available.