Final data on Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) for 2011:Q4 are now available, but there is little news to report. Based on new information from the Department of Finance and Administration on sales tax and gasoline tax receipts, the data on both ATS and the broader measure — Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) — were nearly identical to our preliminary estimates. Growth rates for both measures are summarized in the table below.
Preliminary data for January are now available as well. Taxable sales in January were up 0.55% from the previous month (a 6.7% annual rate). Compared to the previous January, ATS was up 6.0%. With gasoline prices rising, ATSIG rose even more sharply in January. Compared to the previous month, ATSIG was up by over a full percentage point (approximately a 12.6% annual rate). From the previous year, ATSIG was up by 6.4%.
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The Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) series 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 Data 2011:Q4 (Excel file)