Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) rose 0.1% in the first quarter of 2017 — up 2.1% from a year earlier. From the end of the recession in 2009:Q2 through the first quarter of 2017, ATS has expanded at an annual rate of 2.9%.
Gasoline prices averaged $2.11 during the first quarter, up from $2.00 in the fourth quarter of 2016. As a result, expenditures on gasoline were up 8.0% in the first quarter and were 27.7% higher than in the first quarter of 2016. Incorporating this source of increased spending, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) increased by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, and were 3.3% higher than a year earlier.
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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).