- Associated Press - Sunday, November 1, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - New state figures show alcohol sales in Utah increased again last year.

Data released this week by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control show $396 million in total sales were made in fiscal 2015, which ended June 30. That figure marks an 8 percent rise from 2014 and is more than double a decade ago. Sales have increased each year going back to 1996, the oldest year state data is available.

Pam Perlich, senior research economist at the University of Utah, says the surge in sales is likely due to an influx of non-Mormon, out-of-state residents over the last 25 years that has diversified the state’s population. Perlich says the thriving tourism sector also contributes to more alcohol sales.

The figure doesn’t include less alcoholic beer sold at grocery and convenience stores.

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