Issue Brief: Taxable Sales in Southwest Florida
The recently published Regional Economic Indicators by the Regional Economic Research Institute reported that taxable sales were up 6 percent in October 2020 compared with October 2019. The Covid-19 protocols imposed by the state such as lockdowns and limited capacity imposed at businesses associated with consumer fear of face-to-face contact changed the pattern of consumption for most households who started to rely more heavily on online purchases. This shift in consumption pattern makes the reported numbers by the RERI puzzling at a first look. This issue brief digs deeper into the drivers of local taxable sales.
Main findings from the issue brief include:
- Year-to-date taxable sales in Southwest Florida from January to April 2020 fell 11.7 percent when compared to the same four-month period in 2019.
- Year-to-date figures have improved since then, with sales in the region only down 4.6 percent during the 10-month period ending in October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
- Despite taxable sales being down in 2020, businesses providing "big ticket" items such as major appliances, furniture, and vehicles are up when compared to 2019. This effect is largely being driven by federal stimulus program plus state Covid-19 protocols leading to increases in household savings.
Download the latest Issue Brief and Regional Economic Indicators for more information.