Maine Holiday Shopping Increases 5.0% Over 2016
As the holiday shopping season receipts for Maine have officially been reported to Maine Revenue Services, we have some excellent news to report: November and December holiday sales tax receipts increased 5.0% over 2016 with General Merchandise (primarily sales of goods sold in large department and discount stores) up 11.2% over 2016 for November and December combined and up 8.7% for December alone. This is simply great news. Other retail categories (which include jewelry, drug, sporting goods, book, antiques, pet, photo, toy and craft stores) reported a small drop of 2% over 2016, but the figure is still way above the 2015 figure for that category.
Earlier this year, the National Retail Federation reported a robust holiday shopping season with 4.9% growth nationally, but their figure includes both brick and mortar and online sales (which often do not include applicable sales taxes in Maine). It is great to see Maine exceed the national figure and have the hard numbers to back it up.
For 2018, the National Retail Federation predicts that retail sales will increase 3.8 to 4.4%. Let's hope the strong economy continues this year.