Fourth Quarter 2000

NR# 51-P
Date: October 9, 2001
Customer & Taxpayer Service Division

Fourth Quarter 2000 - Taxable Sales

Claude Parrish, Chairman, State Board of Equalization, reported today that taxable sales in California continued to grow at a strong rate during the fourth quarter of 2000. Transactions subject to the sales and use tax totaled $118.5 billion during the fourth quarter of 2000, an increase of $9.5 billion or 8.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 1999.

In constant dollar terms, taxable sales grew by 7.4 percent over the same quarter a year ago. The California Taxable Sales Deflator measured an inflation rate of 1.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2000.

Retail stores posted taxable sales of $78.5 billion, a 9.9 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Retailers of durable goods experienced a 9.5 percent increase, while non-durable goods experienced a 10.3 percent increase.

In the durable goods category, new car dealers had another quarter of double-digit growth; the twelfth in the last fourteen quarters. New car dealers posted taxable sales of $11.3 billion during the quarter, a 10.6 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 1999. 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 $5.7 billion, up 11.0 percent from a year earlier. Construction contractors also showed continuing strong growth over the same period last year with taxable transactions of $4.7 billion, an increase of 9.6 percent.

Gasoline consumption remained constant at 3.7 billion gallons. That usage represents a 0.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter 1999; the average price of gasoline during the fourth quarter was $1.649, a 25.3 percent increase from the previous year's price. Service station sales during the fourth quarter again increased significantly, posting a 27.4 percent increase when compared with fourth quarter 1999.

Most other non-durable goods retailers experienced moderate levels of growth. Restaurants had sales of $9.0 billion, increasing 7.8 percent while general merchandise stores realized sales of $13.3 billion, an increase of 7.4 percent.