Regional Economics Information

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Data & Analysis

Consumer Spending - July 2009

Data Sources on the Web
Alabama Department of Revenue
Automotive News
Florida Automobile Dealers Association
Florida Department of Revenue
Georgia Department of Revenue
Louisiana Department of Revenue
Mississippi State Tax Commission
R.L. Polk
Smith Travel Research
Tennessee Department of Revenue
U.S. Census Bureau
 
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Sales Tax Growth
Sales Tax Growth
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Source: State Departments of Revenue

New Vehicle Registrations
New Vehicle Registrations
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Source: R.L. Polk

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Mississippi Gaming Tax Revenue
Mississippi Gaming Tax Revenue
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Source: Mississippi State Tax Commission
Data and Analysis

Consumer Spending

July 2009

Retail
Automobiles
Tourism

Retail
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, national retail sales in June rose 0.65 percent from May; retail sales excluding autos increased 0.32 percent, and core retail sales (excluding autos, gas, and building supplies) decreased 0.1 percent. Retail sales overall remain well below year-earlier levels.

On average, District sales tax collections through June continued to decrease on a year-over-year basis. All states except Alabama saw sales tax revenues decline on a month-to-month basis.

According to our informal survey of District retailers, June sales continued to be below year-earlier levels. Both traffic and inventories were down, and the outlook remained low.

Automobiles
District new vehicle registrations were 38.3 percent below year-earlier levels in May. A recent report from the Florida Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) showed that the decrease in auto revenues this year cost the state about $50 million in lost tax collections each month. According to FADA's report, new vehicle registrations in Florida through May 2009 were down 40 percent from 2008, with fleet registrations dropping 49 percent, signaling serious cutbacks in travel and the car rental business.

District vehicle dealers reported lower new vehicle sales in June relative to the previous month, but most industry contacts noted a pickup in used-car business that helped offset poor sales of new vehicles.

Tourism
Tourism activity in the District remained weak in June. According to reports from Smith Travel Research, occupancies and revenues were down across the United States on a monthly and yearly basis. Nationally, total room revenue (total revenue generated from the sale or rental of rooms) was down 17.9 percent from last year. Both New Orleans and Atlanta experienced declines in room revenues above the national average on a yearly basis. New Orleans experienced a 25.6 percent decline, and Atlanta experienced a 18.5 percent decrease.

In May, Mississippi Gulf Coast gaming revenue collections fell to just below $100 million, down 8.0 percent compared to a year earlier; however, revenues were up 6.7 percent on a month-over-month basis.


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