Yampa Valley Data Partners projects continued retail sales growth
February 18, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Retail sales in the Yampa Valley increased heading into the end of last year, and Yampa Valley Data Partners projects more growth is in store for 2014.
The Colorado Department of Revenue has released retail numbers through October 2013, and Routt County has posted its highest year-to-date total in five years.
Retail sales in Moffat County slipped slightly through October 2013 compared to 2011 and 2012.
In its most recent regional economic forecast, Yampa Valley Data Partners' Brandon Owens writes that "analysis of retail sales information is one of the most effective ways for understanding the economic vitality of our region."
The region has recovered from the Great Recession and is on a "growth trajectory for 2014,” Owens said.
Through October 2013, retail sales for the year were up 5 percent compared to 2012. According to data currently available for 2013, May was the only month that performed worse than the previous year, with a drop of less than 1 percent.
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Retail sales in February and March 2013 each were up more than 10 percent compared to 2012.
Yampa Valley Data Partners' analysis indicates that Routt County retail sales will grow by 4.5 percent in 2014, according to the economic forecast.
Owens wrote that Yampa Valley Data Partners' forecast for 2014 “is in line with overall growth expectations for retail sales at the state level."
"In our view, this rate of growth represents a post-recessionary 'new normal' in Routt County," Owens wrote.
Owens added that Yampa Valley Data Partners thinks the pace of retail sales growth at the end of 2013 will hold into 2014 with the potential for a 2-percent swing in either direction, but Steamboat is more likely to outperform the forecast than underperform.
"If this rate holds through the end of 2014, then retail sales in Routt County will reach $943.8 million by year-end," Owens wrote.
Steamboat's share of that growth would translate into $19.6 million in sales tax collections, Owens said, representing the highest level since the city's collections hit $19.9 million in 2008.
The city's preliminary December 2013 sales tax report lists collections of $18.7 million for the year.