Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) increased 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016 (seasonally adjusted), and were up 1.8% from a year earlier.
With gasoline prices little changed, an increase in gallons sold pushed gasoline expenditures up 9.9% for the quarter. As a result, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) rose 0.9%. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, ATSIG was up 2.2%.
Both ATS and ATSIG had declined over the first half of 2016, but recovered lost ground in the third and fourth quarters. On average, 2016 was a year of slowing growth in taxable sales. Not including gasoline, Arkansas Taxable Sales were up 1.5% for the year. With gasoline prices down from $2.18 in 2015 to $1.91 in 2016, expenditures on gasoline were down 8.2%. Consequently, ATSIG rose only 1.0% for the year.
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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 monthly and quarterly data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales 2016:Q4 (Excel file).