by Scott Neuffer

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February 5, 2013
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November numbers show seasonal sales decrease

Despite high hopes for the season, Douglas County taxable sales in November fell short of the prior year.

According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, county merchants raked in $42.6 million in sales compared to $43.6 million in November 2011 - a 2.3 percent slip.

For the fiscal year to date, though, the county is still producing more sales than in the same time period a year ago, roughly $250 million versus $240 million, or a 4.3 percent increase.

In November, the county's largest sales generator, food services and drinking places, remained strong with $8.8 million in sales, up 4.5 percent from $8.4 million a year earlier.

Amusement, gambling and recreation industries rose 38 percent year-over-year, from $191,326 to $263,508. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores were up 10.2 percent, from $998,000 to $1.1 million, while building material and garden supplies posted a 12 percent gain year-over-year, from $3.36 million to $3.76 million.

But the high marks couldn't prevent significant slides in other crucial categories.

General merchandise stores fell 4.4 percent, from $7.75 million to $7.41 million, food and beverage stores fell 9 percent, from $2.96 million to $2.7 million, and electronic and appliance stores were down 5.1 percent, from $3 million to $2.85 million.

Clothing and accessory stores were off 1 percent, and furniture and home furnishing stores off 1.4 percent.

One of the biggest hits came in wholesale of durable goods, down 41 percent year-over-year, from $3.5 million to $2.1 million. Wholesale of nondurable goods was up 15.6 percent, from $552,613 to $638,974.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 8.5 percent, from $1.95 million to $1.78 million, reflecting the closure of the Michael Hohl's dealership in Minden that occurred mid-month.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, had an interesting November. Down were petroleum and coal products, off 39 percent, and computer and electronic products, off 42 percent. Big gainers were nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing, up 332 percent, from $76,043 to $328,485, and machinery manufacturing, up 111 percent, from $125,591 to $264,351.

Miscellaneous manufacturing rose 31.5 percent, from $141,684 to $186,331.

Heavy and civil engineering construction jumped 64.3 percent, from $136,575 to $224,338, while specialty trade contractors posted a loss of 30.8 percent, from $621,645 to $430,001.

Statewide, November taxable sales of $3.64 billion resulted in a 7.1 percent increase over November 2011 and a 5.6 percent increase for the fiscal year.-

The largest increases in statewide taxable sales were realized by motor vehicle and parts dealers, up 16.1 percent; machinery manufacturing, up 90.1 percent; specialty trade contractors, up 77.6 percent; food services and drinking places, up 3 percent; and building material and garden supplies, up 15.9 percent.

Ten of Nevada's 17 counties recorded an increase in taxable sales. Douglas, Elko, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine counties posted declines.

Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes amounted to $284.6 million for the month, representing a 6.89 percent increase compared to the previous year and a 6.13 percent increase for the first five months of fiscal year 2013.

The General Fund portion of the sales and use taxes collected amounted to $72.2 million, representing a 7.26 percent increase compared to November 2011. Compared to the November 2012 Economic Forum projections, the General Fund portion of the sales and use taxes is approximately 1.68 percent, or $6.2 million, below the forecast for fiscal year 2013 through the November period, the department stated in a press release.

Given the mixed bag of local sales results, it's worth noting that real national gross domestic product shrank by .1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to preliminary figures released last week by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Attributed to less government spending, less private inventory investment and a decline in exports, the negative percentage represents the first real GDP contraction since 2009.

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The Record Courier Updated Feb 5, 2013 01:39PM Published Feb 5, 2013 01:36PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.