Taxable retail sales hit $155.3 billion in 2017

(OLYMPIA)- Continued gains in construction and auto sales sent taxable retail sales climbing to a record $155.3 billion in 2017, a 6.5 percent gain over calendar year 2016.

Retail trade sales also showed an increase of 5.6 percent to $66.7 billion in 2017.

Taxable retail sales includes transactions subject to the retail sales tax, including sales by retailers, the construction industry, manufacturing and other sectors. Retail trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales in the state and includes sales of items such as clothing, furniture and automobiles, but excludes other industries, such as services and construction.

These figures are part of an annual report released today by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The agency reports on a quarterly and annual basis the total taxable retail sales figures reported by businesses on their Washington tax returns. The agency uses Census Bureau classifications to report the sales revenues by sector.

Construction rose 10.2 percent to $30.9 billion. Taxable retail sales reported by new and used auto dealers increased 5.5 percent, reaching $13.6 billion. Taxable e-commerce and mail order sales increased 11.1 percent to $3.1 billion.* Drug and health stores’ sales rose 12.2 percent to $3 billion. Lawn and garden supplies and equipment sales rose by 14.6 percent, reaching $836 million.

Of the top 10 most populated counties in the state, Clark and Whatcom counties enjoyed the largest overall taxable retail sales percentage increase. Tacoma and Vancouver saw the largest increase of the most populated cities.