- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases increased 2.2 percent during January, February and March when compared to the same three months a year ago.

North Dakota’s Tax Department says the state recorded $5.8 billion in taxable sales and purchases during the first quarter.

Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says the more than $200 million increase from the first quarter in 2014 came despite slumping oil prices and decreased drilling activity.

Rauschenberger says nine of the North Dakota’s 15 economic sectors grew during the first quarter.

The retail trade sector is most often a measure of consumer confidence. Rauschenberger says that sector increased $43.5 million.

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