May Tri-Cities retail sales tax collections up after 4-month downtrend
Tri-Cities retail sales tax collections turned higher in May when compared to May last year reversing a four-month slump. That's good short-term news, but adds to the mid-year local economic outlook flux.
Here's how the seven-county regional year-to-year collections have tracked according to seasonally adjusted numbers compiled from a MTSU Business and Economic Research Center report:
Collections have slowly increased month-to-month since February, but turned negative on the year-to-year metric in January when they synced with an 11-month job creation contraction. Before January, collections were negative for three of the six months that corresponded to job losses.
While job creation has picked up in the past three months it still lags last year’s performance. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show Tri-Cities employers have added 1,050 jobs since January. Compared to May last year, the total is down by 3,645.
ETSU Economist Dr. Steb Hipple said in a recent WETS 'Business Matters' interview that it's not clear whether we're seeing a correction in the regional economy or a softness that will right itself in the latter part of the year. He said the most troubling thing he saw in his first quarter Tri-Cities retail sales analysis is activity was down in all the city and county markets. Hipple's observations are based on his analysis of retail sales and labor market data through the first quarter of this year. His second quarter reports will be available later this summer. Hipple says his hope is that the national economy will right itself and become a growth engine that will have a positive impact on the region.
Since the first quarter, job creations in the Tri-Cities have continued to slump. Sales tax collections are mixed. New home construction has improved, but lags pre-recession levels, and the existing home market has posted double-digit sales and price gains.
The national economic outlook is for an improved second half of the year. U.S. job creation in June was steady and Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index was holding at a five-year high. June's local labor market report will be available late this month.
E-mail Don Fenley at email@example.com
Got a question or comment about something you've read in The Business Journal or on bjournal.com?
Telephone. : 423.854.0140
Fax : 423.979.1307
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Social with Us!
Like us on Facebook or join our twitter feed for up to date news around your area!
Share your thoughts!
Please allow one business day for email responses to comments left on this site. We make every effort to respond in a timely fashion to all inquiries, and we welcome your input. Go to our contact page to leave us a message.