The U.S. Census Bureau announced Wednesday that overall retail sales in May were down 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from April but up 8.1 percent year over year.
Nationally, concerns about inflation are having a dampening effect on consumer spending. From essentials ranging from gasoline to food, prices are on the rise. In Washington State, consumers are feeling the pinch, but recent reports still reflect higher than projected tax collections and rank Washington state among one of the strongest economies in the nation.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Washington state has the highest overall ranking in the nation and the fourth best economy. Our state’s tax collections confirm it. For the month of April, Washington took in over $173 million (7.6%) more than was forecasted, according to a report by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC.)
The ERFC report explained the additional revenues as a cumulative variance due to the sharp increase in inflation that began in February—unforeseen by the forecast.
The report clarified that specific to Washington state, “A historically high accumulation of savings and healthy state personal income growth allowed consumers and businesses on average to avoid sharp reductions to their real spending in February and March. As a result, the growth in nominal taxable activity reflects the increased prices of the items purchased more than increases in real purchases.