Retail Sales

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					Robert Carreira
Director, Center for Economic Research
Cochise College
901 N. Colombo Ave.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Phone: 520-515-5486
e-mail: cer@cochise.edu

For release: August 7, 2008



            Cochise County’s retail market in recession
In May, Cochise County’s retail sales declined by 1.2 percent after adjusting for inflation.

This was the third consecutive month of declining retail sales in the county. Countywide,

retail sales have declined in 6 of the past 7 months. The last month that saw positive

growth was February of this year, when sales were up 2.4 percent after inflation. Prior to

that, the last month to see positive growth was October last year, which saw real growth

of 6 percent.



Using the standard definition of a recession as a sustained period of declining economic

activity, Cochise County’s retail market has been in a recession since November. Since

the beginning of the year, retail sales countywide have been down 2.6 percent compared

to the same period last year.



In May, the county’s accommodation sales, which include hotel, motel, and other

temporary lodging sales, were down 0.5 percent in inflation-adjusted terms. This was the

second consecutive month of declining sales, following real growth of 5 percent in
March. From January through May, sales were down 1.2 percent after the inflation

adjustment.



Despite the poor performance of Cochise County’s retail and accommodation industries,

restaurant and bar sales were up 8.5 percent in May. This follows three consecutive

months of decline, following strong performance in January. For the first 5 months of

2008, restaurant and bar sales saw real growth of 4.4 percent compared to the same

period of 2007.



At the city level, restaurant and bar receipts in Benson were down 3.7 percent in May,

after inflation. This was the fourth consecutive month of declining sales. For the first 5

months of 2008, sales were down 0.4 percent.



Benson’s accommodation receipts in May were up 21.5 percent. The strong growth in

May followed a decline of 23.4 percent in April. For the first 5 months of 2008, sales

were up 2.7 percent.



Retail sales are not reported for Benson due to the city’s two-tiered tax system, which

precludes accurately estimating sales based on tax collections. Retail sales tax revenue,

however, was up 3.1 percent (unadjusted) in the May comparisons. For the first 5 months

of the year, Benson’s retail sales tax revenue was up 3.9 percent.
In Bisbee, retail sales in May were down 8.7 percent after adjusting for inflation. In the

first 5 months of 2008, Bisbee’s retail sales were up 1.2 percent.



Bisbee’s restaurant and bar sales in May were down 7.5 percent compared to May last

year. This was the sixth consecutive month of decline. Bisbee’s restaurant and bar sales

have been down in 11 of the past 12 months. For the first 5 months of this year, sales

were down 8.7 percent after inflation.



Despite the poor performance of Bisbee’s restaurant and bar sales, the city’s

accommodation receipts in May were up 30.4 percent. For the first 5 months of the year,

sales were up 29.1 percent.



In Douglas, restaurant and bar sales were up 32.1 percent. This was the second

consecutive month of positive growth, following nine consecutive months of declining

sales. In the first 5 months of the year, sales were down 4.1 percent after inflation.



Retail sales are not reported for Douglas due to the city’s two-tiered tax system. Retail

sales tax revenue, however, was up 3.8 percent (unadjusted) in the May comparisons. In

the first 5 months of 2008, the city’s retail sales tax collections were up 1.2 percent.

Accommodation sales are not reported for Douglas due to the small number of

establishments and the Arizona Department of Revenue’s confidentiality policy.
In Huachuca City, retail sales were down 0.9 percent in May. In the first 5 months of this

year, sales were down 22.6 percent. Last year, retail sales in Huachuca City were down

17.4 percent, the largest overall decline in the county. Accommodation and restaurant and

bar sales are not reported for Huachuca City due to the small number of establishments

and ADOR’s confidentiality policy.



In Sierra Vista, retail sales were down 15.5 percent in May after inflation. This was the

second consecutive month of decline. In the first 5 months of 2008, sales were down 4.8

percent.



Sierra Vista’s restaurant and bar sales were up 10.9 percent in May. For the first 5 months

of the year, sales were up 1.5 percent after inflation.



In May, Sierra Vista’s accommodation sales were down 4 percent after adjusting for

inflation. For the first 5 months of 2008, the city’s accommodation sales were up 4.4

percent, compared to the same period last year.



In Tombstone, retail sales in May were up 14 percent, ending seven consecutive months

of declining sales. For the first 5 months of 2008, sales were down 4.1 percent.



Tombstone’s restaurant and bar sales were down 43.9 percent in May, after adjusting for

inflation. In the first 5 months of 2008, Tombstone’s restaurant and bar sales were down

4.5 percent.
Accommodation receipts in Tombstone increased 30.4 percent in May. For the first 5

months of the year, sales were up 9.6 percent.



In Willcox, restaurant and bar sales were up 15.9 percent in May, following two

consecutive months of decline. For the first 5 months of the year, sales were down 5.4

percent.



Accommodation receipts in Willcox were down 13.2 percent in May, after adjusting for

inflation. This was the third consecutive month of decline. In the first 5 months of the

year, sales were down 7.1 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.



Retail sales are not reported for Willcox due to the city’s two-tiered tax system. Retail

sales tax revenue, however, was down 22.6 percent (unadjusted) in the May comparisons.

For the first 5 months of 2008, retail sales tax revenue in Willcox was up 0.8 percent

compared to the same period last year.



If you have any questions on the economy, please contact the Cochise College Center for

Economic Research at (520) 515-5486 or email us at cer@cochise.edu. Be sure to check

the CER’s website at www.cochise.edu/cer.
COCHISE COUNTY SALES
                                                                                                                                                                                     YTD
                                                                                                    Inflation-
                                                                                                                                                                       YTD %    Inflation-
                                    May 2008            April 2008            % Change               adjusted             YTD 2008                YTD 2007
                                                                                                                                                                       Change    adjusted
                                                                                                     Growth*
                                                                                                                                                                                 Growth*
Cochise County
  Retail                         $66,312,625          $64,417,052                     2.9%              -1.2%        $324,213,793             $319,388,631               1.5%       -2.6%
  Restaurant & Bar               $11,842,677          $10,507,041                    12.7%               8.5%         $57,699,726              $53,167,139               8.5%        4.4%
  Accommodation                   $3,849,210           $3,713,797                     3.6%              -0.5%         $20,067,057              $19,502,055               2.9%       -1.2%
Benson
  Restaurant & Bar                   $829,560              $825,280                   0.5%              -3.7%             $4,875,400              $4,703,520             3.7%       -0.4%
  Accommodation                      $329,333              $262,000                  25.7%              21.5%             $2,434,467              $2,279,600             6.8%        2.7%
Bisbee
  Retail                          $2,891,600            $3,028,280                   -4.5%              -8.7%          $14,362,480              $13,644,440              5.3%       1.2%
  Restaurant & Bar                  $597,720              $618,320                   -3.3%              -7.5%           $3,153,800               $3,307,040             -4.6%      -8.7%
  Accommodation                     $214,600              $159,500                   34.5%              30.4%           $1,249,380                 $938,400             33.1%      29.1%
Douglas
  Restaurant & Bar                $1,134,080               $832,320                  36.3%              32.1%             $5,322,080              $5,323,560             0.0%       -4.1%
Huachuca City
  Retail                             $530,000              $513,067                   3.3%              -0.9%             $2,240,733              $2,751,133           -18.6%     -22.6%
Sierra Vista
  Retail                         $40,126,229          $45,232,514                  -11.3%             -15.5%         $212,338,514             $213,854,971              -0.7%       -4.8%
  Restaurant & Bar                $6,200,769           $5,387,577                   15.1%              10.9%          $28,940,538              $27,423,615               5.5%        1.5%
  Accommodation                   $1,839,673           $1,836,709                    0.2%              -4.0%           $8,625,127               $7,948,091               8.5%        4.4%
Tombstone
  Retail                             $941,440              $796,800                 18.2%              14.0%              $4,670,760              $4,670,800             0.0%       -4.1%
  Restaurant & Bar                   $481,600              $798,680                -39.7%             -43.9%              $3,671,960              $3,688,840            -0.5%       -4.5%
  Accommodation                      $283,200              $210,382                 34.6%              30.4%              $1,340,145              $1,178,618            13.7%        9.6%
Willcox
  Restaurant & Bar                   $717,633              $597,500                  20.1%             15.9%              $3,381,967              $3,427,133            -1.3%       -5.4%
  Accommodation                      $343,714              $377,943                  -9.1%            -13.2%              $2,040,086              $2,104,700            -3.1%       -7.1%
YTD = Year to Date
* Inflation rate determined by change in the Consumer Price Index.
Note. Discrepancies due to rounding
Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and Cochise College Center for Economic Research. Figures shown are estimates, based on transaction privilege tax collections.


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