Taxable retail sales statewide for the first quarter of 2013 (January 1 – March 31) were up 8.0 percent to $26 billion as compared to the same time period a year ago, according to a report released by the State Department of Revenue.

Taxable retail sales have nearly recovered to first quarter 2008 levels, when they last topped $26 billion dollars.

Retail trade reached $12 billion, an 8.2 percent increase from the first quarter of 2012. Retail trade is a subset of total taxable retail sales, which includes retailers, but excludes industries such as services and construction.

Taxable sales rose in many of the state's major industries:

  • Construction increased 16.9 percent
  • Building materials, garden equipment and supplies grew to $1 billion, up 14.2 percent

Pierce County reported $2.8 billion in taxable retail sales, up 11.0 percent. Within Tacoma’s city limits, a total of $989 million — up 6.2 percent — placed the city as third-highest in the state for taxable retail sales behind only Seattle and Bellevue.

Complete tax statistics for taxable retail sales and retail trade by county and city as well as a breakdown of sales statewide by major industry are posted on Revenue's website. Results for all counties and selected cities, including sales breakdowns by industry sector, are also online on the Quarterly Business Review.