2001 First Quarter-Taxable Sales - News Release - 2002

NR# 2-C
Date: January 24, 2002
Customer & Taxpayer Services Division

2001 First Quarter-Taxable Sales

John Chiang, Chair, State Board of Equalization, announced today that taxable sales in California continued to grow in the first quarter of 2001, but at a much slower rate than in the first quarter of 2000. Transactions subject to the sales and use tax totaled $104.2 billion during the first quarter of 2001, an increase of $4.3 billion or 4.3 percent over the first quarter of 2000.

In constant dollar terms, taxable sales grew by 3.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago. The California Taxable Sales Deflator measured an inflation rate of 0.7 percent for the first quarter of 2001.

Retail stores posted taxable sales of $68.1 billion, a 5.3 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Retailers of durable goods experienced a 3.9 percent increase, while non-durable goods experienced a 6.9 percent increase.

In the durable goods category, new car dealers saw little change in sales from the same period a year ago. New car dealers posted sales of $11.5 billion during the quarter, a 3.1 percent increase over the first quarter of 2000. Retailers of building materials registered continuing growth in sales as California's construction industry continued to perform well. Building material dealers posted taxable sales of $5.3 billion, up 10.0 percent from a year earlier. Construction contractors also showed continuing strong growth over the same period last year with taxable transactions of $4.1 billion, an increase of 9.4 percent.

Gasoline consumption was up slightly to 3.6 billion gallons. That usage represents a 3.3 percent increase from the first quarter 2000; the average price of gasoline during the first quarter was $1.555, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year's price. Service station sales during the first quarter again increased, posting a 9.3 percent increase when compared with first quarter 2000.

Most other non-durable goods retailers experienced moderate levels of growth. Restaurants had sales of $8.9 billion, increasing 6.9 percent while general merchandise stores realized sales of $8.8 billion, an increase of 7.0 percent.

(First Quarter 2001 lists of Statewide Taxable Sales by Type of Business,Taxable Sales by County, and Taxable Sales by City are attached.)