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Taxable sales in ND grew at 5.5% in the third quarter of 2023 -- but it could mean more moderate growth

North Dakota’s Taxable Sales and Purchases were up 5.5 percent in the third quarter of 2023.

The total for July, August and September – $7.1 billion.

"By most standards, the quarter was good," said Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "But it does stand in contrast to the previous eight quarters, or two years."

Through those eight quarters, the state reported double-digit increases in taxable sales. But Kroshus said by most standards, 5.5 percent is a good, solid number.

"It is hard to sustain that level of economic activity (double-digit increases) long term," Kroshus said. "But the fact that we were able to have those kinds of increases over two years, in the wake of a pandemic, was still pretty impressive. But it's a high bar."

Kroshus said 12 of the 15 major sectors reported increases – including mining and oil extraction, which saw a 14 percent growth, and utilities saw a 70 percent growth.

Of the four largest cities, Minot showed the largest increase – 4.8 percent – followed by Grand Forks, at 2.4 percent. Bismarck had a small increase – 0.1 percent, and Fargo had a small decrease of 1.8 percent.

Kroshus said it will be interesting to see what happens this holiday shopping season.

"I think that will be a pretty good indicator of where things are headed in 2024," Kroshus said.

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