Economic news

The Iowa Legislative Services Agency releases a report each month with details of state tax collections.  The latest report — on state tax receipts for February, 2009 — indicates Iowans are out buying things again.  Personal income taxes were up 2 percent. **SEE BELOW: Sales and use taxes were up 17.4 percent for the month (a February, 2009 to February, 2008 comparison).

A national report released today indicates Americans are buying again, as consumer spending rose 0.6 percent in January.  That's better than the experts had predicted.  And Americans are saving more.  The personal savings rate jumped 5 percent in January, according to the latest federal government report.

Despite those unexpected positives,the Dow is dropping.

UPDATE:  After hearing the national consumer spending numbers yesterday, I jumped at the executive summary written by the LSB. An alert reader of the blog, however, points to this deeper in the Legislative Service Agency report and it totally blows the whole retail sales up angle and there's really no apples to apples comparison in the report to judge whether retail sales were up from January to February.

Sales/Use Tax receipts received in February totaled $301.0 million, an increase of $35.9 million (13.5%) compared to February 2008. The State sales/use tax rate was increased from 5.0% to 6.0% beginning July 1, 2008, with the increase replacing the School Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) sales tax. Beginning in August, sales/use gross tax receipts were no longer adjusted for SILO sales tax payments to school districts. This change is the reason for strong monthly sales/use tax increases in FY 2009.  The REC estimate for FY 2009 sales/use tax receipts is $2.419 billion, an increase of 20.9% compared to actual FY 2008. Through February, total gross sales/use tax receipts have increased 17.4%. The preceding chart compares FY 2009 monthly sales/use tax receipts with FY 2008.


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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.