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Retail sales drop in Spokane County, most others

Mon., July 20, 2009, 5:38 p.m.

Only seven of 39 Washington counties reported gains in total retail sales for the first quarter of 2009, compared to last year.

Spokane County was not one of the lucky seven. Its total sales dropped by 7.7 percent, according to the Washington Department of Revenue.

The two big gainers were low-population Skamania and Garfield counties, gaining 38 and 25 percent, respectively, from last year. The two largest losses in taxes were felt by Franklin and Lewis counties, dropping 22.7 and 25.8 percent respectively from last year’s first quarter.

King County fell 15.3 percent.

The city of Spokane reported a net drop of 3.4 percent in total retail sales. But one year ago the North Division Costco store was not yet inside city limits. The 2009 numbers reflect the additional Costco sales that the city didn’t have in 2008. The city’s annexation took effect in April 2008.

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