Washington Q3 2009 sales decline third-largest on record

County, city above and below state numbers respectively

The Bellingham Business Journal

Taxable retail sales declined 11.6 percent to $26.4 billion during the third quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported Jan. 14.

In Bellingham, 2009’s third quarter total retail sales fell 8.73 percent to more than $492 million from more than $539 million during the same period in 2008. Whatcom County’s numbers for the same period fell 12.11 percent year over year.

The July through September sales decline at the state level is the third-largest on record. Sales dropped 14 percent during the second quarter of 2009 and 12.8 percent during the first quarter of 2009.

Retail trade, a component of all taxable retail sales that includes retailers but excludes other industries such as services and construction, dropped 6.1 percent to $11.6 billion.

Among the largest industries, retail sales from construction dropped 25 percent to $4.8 billion; motor vehicle and parts dropped 3.6 percent to $2.6 billion; accommodations and food services dropped 3.3 percent to $3.0 billion; general merchandise stores declined 0.3 percent to $2.5 billion; the retail component of wholesale trade declined 18.5 percent to $1.9 billion, miscellaneous retailers dropped 19.1 percent to $1.2 billion, information services rose 2.3 percent to $1.2 billion, and building materials, garden equipment and supplies dropped 14.0 percent to $1.2 billion.

For more information, visit the Department of Revenue Web site.

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