Final data are now in for first-quarter taxable sales. The quarterly growth of taxable sales in the first quarter was slightly weaker than was indicated by the preliminary report, but sales continue to show strong year-over-year growth. Excluding gasoline sales, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) was up 1.3% for the quarter — and 5.2% higher than the first quarter of 2011. With higher gas prices in the first quarter boosting overall fuel expenditures Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) was up 2.0% for the quarter and is 5.8% higher than the previous year. Over the past three quarters, ATSIG has been growing at an annual rate of 7 to 8%.
Preliminary information for April shows a decline from the previous month, but longer term trend show continued robust growth. From March to April, ATSIG declined by 0.4% (seasonally adjusted). Compared to April of 2011, however, ATSIG was up 5.9%.
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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 Data 2012:Q1 (Excel file)