CARSON CITY – Nevada taxable sales jumped by double digits in May, with consumers purchasing $3.7 billion in goods for a 10.4 percent increase over May 2011, the state Department of Taxation reported today.
Clark County taxable sales were up 10 percent, while Washoe County saw a 4.9 percent gain.
All major taxable sales categories were up in May over May 2011.
Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the broad increases across all major categories, from vehicles to general merchandise, is especially noteworthy.
“Things are starting to look good,” he said. “Obviously unemployment is still going to be a huge indicator on where people have disposable income, where consumer confidence is going, and the numbers would appear that people are reasonable in making purchases and feel like it.”
The largest increases were seen in the categories of motor vehicles and parts dealers, up 20.8 percent; food services and drinking places, up 7.8 percent, merchant wholesalers – durable goods, up 13.7 percent; machinery manufacturing, up 84.9 percent; and clothing and clothing accessories, up 8.9 percent.
Other categories showing increases included the construction industry, up 6.8 percent; general merchandise stores, up 6.2 percent; food and beverage stores, up 11.2 percent; furniture and home furnishings, up 3.5 percent; and accommodations, up 87.9 percent.
Fifteen of Nevada’s 17 counties recorded an increase in taxable sales for May 2012 compared to May 2011, with only Lincoln and Lyon counties reporting a decrease.
It was the 23rd consecutive month of increases in taxable sales.
The sales taxes collected from the consumer activity are now about $34.5 million more for the 2012 fiscal year through May than what was projected by the Economic Forum.
Wachter said the upcoming back-to-school shopping season will provide further guidance on how Nevada’s economy will perform through the fall and holiday shopping season.