Released by the Wood County Industrial Commission

(Wood County, TX) – Wood County Industrial Commission Executive Director Chana Gail Willis announced today the Wood County monthly state sales tax revenue reported released for August 2012 retail sales was $402,991, up about 9.55% over the same period last year, August 2011. For payments year-to-date in all of Wood County, allocations were $4.04 million, up 10.7 % compared to year to date for the same period in 2011.          

Willis commented, “Mineola, Winnsboro, Yantis and Quitman saw double digit percentage growth gains over the same period last year, with Alba showing good gains and Hawkins in a slight decline over the same period. Wood County, overall, experienced a 15.98% growth over the same period last year, and 10.67% year-to-date compared to 2011, and the eight consecutive months of good gains for the county. These figures can best be attributed to the strong back to school sales and local retail trade shopping, and a pickup of the fall tourism season.          

The state’s sales tax allocations year to date was $551M, about 9.1% percent higher than the previous fiscal year. Other economic indicators released this week show we are continuing good recovery in many sectors, especially in Texas robust economy.        

Willis continued, “Statewide, non-farm employment is up. Employment rates held steady or increased in some sectors. There’s a demand truck drivers, staffing firms, and retailers hiring for an expectedly good holiday season, especially for shopping local campaigns. The Texas oil and natural gas industry production is tracking with strong growth at 41% higher than last year, leading to increased employment demands in that sector.”        

“Auto sales are up 11% over last year. Mortgage foreclosures are down, while single family (up 19%) and multi-family housing (up 73%) permits are up and average home price sale figures are up 5% over a year ago.” Willis added, “It is equally encouraging to see businesses expansion and new businesses permitting increasing for the year. Wood County has also seen good new business permitting filed with the State since the beginning of the year.”                    

“Unemployment, statewide, continues decreasing and non-farm employment continues its upward trend. The Texas Consumer Price index and U.S. Consumer Confidence Index remains positive, Gas prices are still under some pressures and food prices because of summer weather conditions impacting agronomics.” Wills concluded, “Wood County has faired well along with the state average this year, and the climate continues to remain positive for measured economic growth continuing into the fall season and the coming holidays.”    

Note: The sales tax allocation numbers released are trailing indicators, meaning the data reflects activity from where we were about six weeks ago; these figures are based on actual retails sales for August, reported by filers by September 20 and released October 10, 2012.