Washington Taxable Retail Sales Rise of 7.4% Led by Autos

Washington state’s taxable retail sales rose 7.4 percent to $117.1 billion last year, driven by increases in auto, building material and apparel sales, the state Revenue Department said.

Among cities, Seattle had the biggest gain, $18.3 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent, the agency said in a report May 23.

New- and used-car sales rose 12.1 percent to $10 billion, the report said. Building materials, garden equipment and supplies increased 9.6 percent to $5 billion. Apparel and accessories grew 4.2 percent to $4.1 billion and e-commerce and mail-order increased 23.6 percent to $1.7 billion.

Washington, home to technology giants Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., ranked second in improvement of economic health for the year through December, behind Nevada, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The index measures mortgage delinquencies, personal incomes, tax revenue, employment, home prices and stock values.

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