Retail sales hit $37.6 billion in first quarter 2018

(OLYMPIA)- A bump in construction and lawn and garden supplies and equipment sales helped boost the state’s taxable retail sales in first quarter of 2018. The sales increased by 10.3 percent over the same period in 2017, reaching $37.6 billion.

Retail trade, a subset of all taxable retail sales in the state, also increased by 8.6 percent to a total of $15.8 billion.

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

These figures are part of a quarterly report released today by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The taxable retail sales figures compare the same quarter year-over-year to equalize any seasonal effects that would influence consumer and business spending.

Of the top 10 most populated counties in the state, Kitsap and Skagit counties enjoyed the largest overall taxable retail sales percentage increase. Spokane Valley and Vancouver saw the largest increase of the most populated cities.