August 14, 2012 in Business

Sales of liquor down in June

Shannon Dininny Associated Press

YAKIMA — Liquor sales declined slightly in June compared with the same month the previous year, after Washington businesses and consumers stocked up on spirits in advance of price increases with liquor privatization.

Washington will need at least three more months to identify long-term trends resulting from Initiative 1183, the Washington state Department of Revenue said Monday.

June sales by volume declined just 9 percent compared with June 2011. Meanwhile, May sales were nearly 27 percent higher than the same month the previous year.

Liquor prices also reflected the new changes to the state’s liquor system.

The average price of a liter of spirits declined 9 percent in May compared with the previous year, but increased 17 percent in June 2012 over June 2011.

The agency said the May drop is due to consumers buying larger bottles of liquor, which are less expensive by volume than smaller bottles.

The state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council also reported Monday that June tax receipts from liquor were $1.1 million lower than anticipated, but that much of the shortfall could be attributed to customers and restaurants stocking up in May.

Similar tax receipts for May were up $1.7 million.

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