Taxable sales increase for eighth straight quarter

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BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota's economy is in growth mode again. Statewide taxable sales increased nearly 10 percent in the first quarter of the year over the same period in 2018.

Williston led the way of the six largest cities, growing 14.79 percent in Q1 (January, February, March) 2019 from the same period in 2018. Dickinson (11.69 percent) and Minot (6.1 percent) also grew. Bismarck (.48 percent), Fargo (.61 percent) and Grand Forks (1.84 percent) saw a slight decrease.

Energy led the way, the mining and oil extraction sector increased by $123.8 million (a 21.65% increase), the wholesale trade sector increased by $115.1 million (a 12.19% increase). Retail also increased 5 percent, which Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says is critical to consumer confidence.

“People expect to continue to have their paychecks and continue to see their incomes either maintain what they are or grow,” said Rauschenberger.

He added that if non-oil patch communities want to see a change in growth, they’ll need ag prices to improve.

“Until we see those ag commodity prices and the ag sector take off, we do expect there to be a bit of a leveling off and a bit of downward pressure on the growth in those larger cities and communities outside of the oil patch,” said Rauschenberger.