- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota in the third quarter of the year totaled nearly $7.7 billion, up more than 10 percent from July, August and September of 2013.

“North Dakota continues to shine nationally,” Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said in a statement Wednesday. “Personal income, population and labor force are just a few of the areas North Dakota has experienced extraordinary growth.”

Twelve of the 15 major industry sectors in the state reported third-quarter gains in taxable sales and purchases from 2013 to 2014. The mining and oil extraction sector increased by nearly 20 percent.

The five cities with the largest percentage increases in taxable sales and purchases all are in the booming western oil patch - Watford City, New Town, Beach, Dickinson and Stanley. The increases ranged from 18 percent in Stanley to 41 percent in Watford City.

Rauschenberger said retail trade also was strong heading into the holiday season - up nearly 5 percent over the year to $78 million.

That growth is expected to continue through the end of the year. North Dakota Retail Association President Mike Rud told The Associated Press earlier that holiday sales in North Dakota might be up 5-6 percent over last year, not only because of the energy industry but also because of a strong overall state economy.

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