BISMARCK -- Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota grew by 12.5% in 2018, the largest year-over-year bump since 2012, state Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Tuesday, April 30.
Rauschenberger, a Republican, cited continued growth in oil and gas industry-related sectors. The $20.2 billion in taxable sales and purchases overshadowed the nearly $18 billion total in 2017.
The figures were a welcome sign for a state economy that slumped a few years ago due to a drop in oil and farm commodity prices. North Dakota lawmakers adjourned the 2019 legislative session Friday by setting the largest two-year total budget in state history at $14.7 billion, but fell well short of the record general fund budget.
Rauschenberger's office said 14 of the 15 major industry sectors reported gains in taxable sales and purchases in 2018 over 2017, including a 42.3% jump in mining and oil extraction and a 21.2% increase in wholesale trade. Retail trade saw a 3.4% uptick.
While Williston and Dickinson saw increases of 26.2% and 14.1%, respectively, Fargo and Minot saw single-digit bumps. Grand Forks and Bismarck decreased by 12.3% and 2.2%, respectively.
“You can also see how the oil industry has impacted this report when you take note that the majority of the counties with larger increases were in the west,” Rauschenberger said in a statement. “Mountrail and McKenzie counties, two major oil producing counties, both grew by over 40% in 2018.”