OLYMPIA -- The state Department of Revenue says taxable retail sales in Washington declined to $25 billion in the second quarter of this year, a 14 percent drop from 2008.
The state said Friday that the April-through-June sales decline is the largest on record. Sales were down 12.8 percent during the first quarter of this year, and 10.8 percent during the fourth quarter of last year, the second- and third-largest declines since reliable records have been kept beginning in 1974, state officials said.
Two of the biggest drops were in retail sales from construction, down 26 percent to $4.3 billion, and motor vehicle and parts, down 21 percent to $2.3 billion.
Franklin County, with taxable retail sales of about $237.4 million in the second quarter, lost about 21 percent, but Benton County registered an increase of more than 4 percent, with taxable retail sales of $689.3 million in the same period. Of the Benton County total, about $328.3 million came from retail trade sector.
In Franklin County, taxable sales in retail trade amounted to about $101.5 million.
Taxable retail sales declined about 5 percent from $365.4 million in the second quarter of 2008 to $347.4 million in the second quarter of 2009 in Kennewick and more than 16 percent from $245.9 million to about $206.2 million in Pasco in the same period.
While West Richland lost 0.39 percent from $16.06 million in the second quarter of 2008 to about $15.99 million in the second quarter this year, Richland gained more than 8 percent in the same period, from $204.6 million to $221.7 million.
Sales of vehicles, including RVs and motorcycles, declined substantially in Benton and Franklin counties in the second quarter of 2009.