Nevada taxable sales rise in September November 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm Jennifer Robison, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL For sheer repetitiveness, your Thanksgiving leftovers have nothing on Nevada’s taxable sales reports. State and county sales have spent 2012 trending upward between 2 percent and 11 percent a month on a year-over-over basis, and September’s results were no different. Statewide sales came in at $3.73 billion, up 4.2 percent from $3.58 billion in September 2011. Clark County’s businesses sold $2.69 billion in tangible goods, up 4.9 percent from $2.57 billion a year earlier. Steve Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, called the numbers “a good sign” considering that consumer spending nationwide rose just 1.4 percent in the third quarter, less than economists expected and down from 1.5 percent growth in the second quarter. “This shows a good performance in the Las Vegas economy,” Brown said. Brian Gordon, a principal in local research firm Applied Analysis, said September’s sales figures met expectations. “Consumers are continuing to come out of their shell as the job market shows modest signs of improvement and the housing market witnesses increasing signs of stability,” Gordon said. “Overall, local consumer confidence appears to be stabilizing, and that’s reflected in the latest spending data.” As through most of 2012, several major, consumer-oriented categories showed gains in Clark County. Car sales, which made up 9.8 percent of sales in September, surged 10.9 percent, to $265.2 million. Sales inside clothing and accessories retailers, which equaled 11.3 percent of sales, jumped 7.4 percent, to $304.5 million. Other sectors with improved sales included general merchandise stores such as department stores, which posted a 2.3 percent increase to $240.5 million, and merchant wholesalers of durable goods such as appliances and factory equipment, which saw a 6 percent rise to $140.7 million. Bars and restaurants – the county’s biggest spending category, at 27.4 percent of the total – experienced a 1.7 percent boost, to $737.2 million. Also, construction spending spiked in September, rising 20.7 percent statewide and 41 percent in Clark County. Most of the improvement happened among specialty trade contractors such as plumbers and electricians. Brown attributed the higher specialty-trade spending partly to tenant upgrades, as local businesses have taken advantage of falling office rents to move into higher-class space. But the gaming industry is also throwing construction an assist, with hotel room renovations picking up and work ramping up at The Linq, a $550 million, 300,000-square-foot retail development that Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building on the Strip. The county’s building sector has likely bottomed out, Gordon said, and is poised to begin a “slow climb out” of the cellar. Gross revenue collections, which help finance prisons and schools, totaled $292.9 million in September, a 4.5 percent increase year over year. In the first three months of fiscal 2012, which began July 1, collections were 4.5 percent, or $9.4 million, above projections of the state’s Economic Forum, which forecasts revenue for budgeting purposes. Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at email@example.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.