Late summer marked a second period of increases in taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota as the state comes out of two years worth of declines.

Taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2017 were nearly $4.731 billion, a 2.3 percent increase over the same period in 2016.

“We are happy to report positive taxable sales and purchases growth for the second quarter in a row,” Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said. “Especially when you factor in that this report was during a timeframe our state was dealing with a severe drought.”

Five of the state’s 15 major sectors reported gains when compared to the third quarter a year ago.

Mining and oil extraction was up by $247.7 million, an 80.5 percent increase, to $555.5 million, and wholesale trade was up by $125 million, a 13.2 percent increase, to $1.07 billion.

Retail trade, considered an indicator of consumer confidence, saw a decrease in taxable sales and purchases of 2.4 percent, going from $1.58 billion to $1.54 billion. Rauschenberger said, as energy production continues to accelerate in North Dakota, most of the other industry sectors could see a coinciding boost.

“Although the retail trade sector was down during the third quarter, we see a large increase in some of the industries related to oil activity,” Rauschenberger said. “If energy prices continue to rise, we could feel the impact in other areas as well.”

At the height of the oil boom in 2014, total taxable sales and purchases were $7.68 billion for the third quarter. Oil and mining accounted for $1.38 billion of that.

Of the 50 largest cities in North Dakota, the highest percent increases for the third quarter of 2017 was in Tioga, going up 31.51 percent to $18.9 million in taxable sales and purchases. Williston followed with a 29.55 percent increase to $366.9 million and New Town was up 27.25 percent.

In the third quarter of 2014, Williston had $984.4 million in taxable sales and purchases. Tioga had $258.8 million.

Bismarck and Mandan’s taxable sales and purchases were both down in third quarter 2017. Bismarck went from $426.6 million in 2016 to $400.3 this year, a 6 percent decrease. Mandan went from $70.2 million to $62 million, a 11.65 percent decrease.

Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or