|District-Assembled Vehicle Sales Growth 2009–10|
|Source: Automotive News|
|New Vehicle Registrations|
|Source: R.L. Polk|
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, both national and core (excluding autos, gas, and building supplies) retail sales experienced growth in March on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. Core retail sales rose 0.4 percent from February and 6.7 percent from March of last year. Total retail sales in March rose 1.6 percent from February and 7.6 percent from a year earlier.
March sales tax revenue throughout the Southeast was down from 2009. However, sales tax revenues in all states in the Sixth District declined at a slower pace than in February. For the region overall, sales tax revenue was 4.7 percent lower than in March 2009.
All states in the District experienced an increase in sales tax revenue from February to March. Sales tax revenue in the District overall was up 6.9 percent from February to March.
The District Retail Survey for March showed continued improvement from prior months. Traffic as well as sales increased month over month. Retailers continued to keep inventory levels low, and all contacts reported they were satisfied with their inventory levels for the fifth consecutive month.
The outlook among merchants remains optimistic, with 50 percent of retailers expecting an increase in sales in the coming months.
According to contacts and industry data, small-vehicle segments continued to drive the growth of District vehicle sales from weak levels a year earlier. District-assembled vehicle sales were up 24.5 percent year over year, far ahead of the nation's pace. All companies except GM posted gains over early 2009 levels, with Hyundai-Kia climbing nearly 49 percent. Fleet and leasing sales have continued to drive most of the gains in regional vehicle sales.
From February to March, Mississippi's Gulf Coast gaming tax revenues decreased slightly, from $95.77 million to $95.71 million. On a year-over-year basis, revenues continued to decline, decreasing 6.0 percent compared to 2009.
Smith Travel Research included six District cities in its list of the top 25 U.S. tourist markets in April 2010. Five of the cities—Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, and Tampa—had occupancy rates above the national average of 60.4 percent between April 11 and April 17. Of the top 25 cities listed by Smith Travel Research, Miami was ranked first in hotel occupancy and revenue per room in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2010.
The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureaureported that Greater Miami's leisure and hospitality industry employment in March reached 98.6 percent of the employment reported for the same period in 2009. Approximately 104,300 people were employed in Greater Miami's leisure and hospitality industry in March 2009 and an estimated 102,800 in March 2010.