California retail sales grew faster than in North Bay

SACRAMENTO -- Retail sales activity grew at a slower rate in the North Bay than in the rest of California in the final quarter of 2010 versus the same period in 2009, according to the most recent data made available today by the California State Board of Equalization.

While taxable sales grew 7.1 percent statewide versus the same quarter in 2009, those sales grew by 4.3 percent in Sonoma County to $1.7 billion. Marin County saw an increase of 4.8 percent to $1 billion, while taxable sales in Napa County grew by 3.8 percent.

Taxable sales in Mendocino County grew by 1 percent in the same period to $277 million, with 2.9 percent growth in Solano County to $1.4 billion and 0.7 percent growth in Lake County to $120 million.

The nine-county Bay Area experienced a 7.4 percent growth rate, driven largely by double-digit growth in San Francisco and San Jose and a nearly 9 percent increase in Oakland.

While the comprehensive data from the board is more than one year old, estimates in the same report project that taxable sales in the final quarter of 2011 would grow by another 7 percent over the same period in 2010.

California’s taxable sales totaled $128.9 billion in the final quarter of 2010, $8.5 billion higher than the same period in 2009.

In terms of constant dollars, taxable sales in California increased by $6.4 percent, according to the board. The California Consumer Price Index, which measures the change of price in common goods, was up 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter from a year before.

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