Taxable Retail Sales: Yakima Valley Trends Indicator of the Month

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Annual taxable retail sales represent one of the most important measures of the size and changes in a local economy. This measure often serves as a key proxy of total county economic activity, since consumption spending forms the largest part of any economy. The level and growth rate of retail sales provide a sense of how well the economy is doing.

Taxable retail sales also offer critical support to local and state government entities, as they usually provide the largest share of revenues to both levels of government.

The most recent data available show Yakima County during 2016 produced the highest annual taxable retail sales on record at $3.804 billion, up from $3.628 billion, or by 4.9% from the previous year and up from $2.122 billion, or by 79.3% since 2001.

The following chart shows the 2016 taxable retail sales by city. The City of Yakima was home to almost half of all taxable retail sales (49%), followed by the unincorporated areas of Yakima County (15%), Union Gap (14%), and Sunnyside (8%).

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