Final figures for Arkansas Taxable Sales are now in: The revised statistics are essentially unchanged from the preliminary data we published two weeks ago. Based on state sales tax receipts, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) were up 0.3% in the first quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, sales were up 0.5%. Incorporating data from the state’s motor fuel tax, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) were also up 0.3% for the quarter — and unchanged from the previous year.
Since the recession trough of 2009:Q2, ATS has increased by 12.1% — averaging 3.1% growth at an annual rate. The corresponding increase for ATSIG is 15.1% — an annual growth rate of 3.8%. Over that 15-quarter period, inflation has averaged 2.0%, implying that real (inflation-adjusted) sales growth has averaged 1.1% to 1.8%.
By comparison, Census data on national retail sales show a 14-quarter increase of 24.5% — an average annual rate of 6.0%, or 4.0% after inflation.
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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 2013:Q1 (Excel file)