LONG BEACH - As the national economy was slowing last summer, many Pacific County businesses were having their best season in history. Total taxable sales increased by 22.5 percent between the summers of 2006 and 2007, compared to a 5.9 percent improvement in Washington state as a whole, according to a just-released report.

A significant chunk of Pacific County's increase revolved around a massive highway project that brought the "heavy construction and highways" category of our economy more than $5.4 million in July, August and September of 2007, compared to $561,000 in the summer of 2006.

But home construction and other building projects also soared, to $9.2 million, up nearly 44 percent from the $6.4 million built in the summer of 2006.

The county's important tourism sector didn't do as well. Accommodations and food services together rang up $13,566,000 in summer business, a gain of only 1 percent. Highway work, higher gasoline prices and perversely rotten weekend weather all undoubtedly played a part. Lodging places tallied a little over $5.9 million, down more than $100,000 from summer 2006. Restaurant receipts rose to $7.6 million from $7.4 million a year earlier.

For the most part, however, other types of business enjoyed substantial gains. Overall, the retail sector sold 7.5 percent more last summer than it did a year earlier. This compared to a statewide gain of just 2.7 percent.

Here is how some different retail classifications did last summer here in Pacific County:

? Building materials $5.3 million +14.4%

? Food & beverage $3.75 million +1.6%

? Miscellaneous $3.5 million +5.2%

? Vehicles and parts $1.9 million +22.7%

? General merchandise $1.5 million +3.9%

? Gas stations $1.5 million -10%

? Furniture $600,000 +10.4%

? Drug stores $504,000 -8.5%

? Sporting goods $508,000 +44.3%

? Electronics and appliances $341,000 -11.6%

Taxable Retail Sales Increase 5.9 Percent During Third Quarter 2007OLYMPIA, Jan. 24, 2008 52; Taxable retail sales increased 5.9 percent to $31.1 billion during the third quarter of 2007 compared to year-earlier results, the Washington Department of Revenue reported today.

Retail Trade was up 2.7 percent over the third quarter of 2006 to $13.2 billion. Retail Trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales that tracks sales at retail outlets only and excludes such volatile sectors as construction.

Among major industries, construction was up 8.7 percent to $6.7 billion, new and used auto dealers dropped 2.2 percent to $2.6 billion, and restaurants, food services and drinking establishments rose 7.7 percent to $2.4 billion. Sales by general merchandise stores, which includes department stores, increased 3.5 percent to $2.5 billion, while building materials, garden equipment and supplies rose 0.8 percent to $1.5 billion.

Sales tax from construction activities accounted for 21.5 percent of all taxable retail sales, up from 21 percent during the third quarter of 2006. Meanwhile, Retail Trade shrank to 42.4 percent of total sales from 43.8 percent last year.

Among the most populous counties, King County was up 7.8 percent to $12.3 billion; Pierce rose 1.8 percent to $3.2 billion; Snohomish increased 5.1 percent to $3.0 billion; and Spokane climbed 5.0 percent to $2.0 billion.

Among cities with the most sales, Seattle was up 8.9 percent to $4.4 billion; Bellevue rose 14.7 percent to $1.5 billion; Tacoma increased 1.0 percent to $1.2 billion; Spokane grew 2.7 percent to $1.0 billion; and Everett climbed 4.0 percent to $740 million.

Additional results for all counties and selected cities, including breakdowns of sales by industry sector, are available online at (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/StatisticsAndReports/2007/qbr307/default.aspx).

Information is available for all cities through the 60;Create a Report61; tool at (http://dor.wa.gov/content/aboutus/statisticsandreports/TID/StatisticsReports.aspx?query=qbrnaics).

A pdf version of this release, including tables for counties and all cities, is available online at

(http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/News/2008/NR_3Q07TRS012408.pdf)

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