LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk
Lawrence retail spending off to strong start in 2013; up 3.1 percent for the year
Here I thought I was the only one who visited my banker around Valentine’s Day. I’ve found that a home equity loan is useful when you’re trying to buy a year’s worth of forgiveness.
But apparently I’m not alone because a new report from City Hall shows retail spending spiked during the mid-February through mid-March period. The city’s latest sales report shows retail spending increased by 6.3 percent during the mid-February to mid-March period, compared with the same period a year ago.
It is always risky to put too much stock into one month’s worth of numbers, but we’ll see if this is the beginning of a spring spending surge. Regardless, retail sales in Lawrence are off to a solid start in 2013. Sales tax collections through the April reporting period are up about 3.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago. (The most recent report was for the April reporting period, but because of a lag time in processing, the numbers represent sales generally made in mid-February to mid-March.)
Here’s a look at how Lawrence’s retail sales totals stack up to past years. As always, the number in parenthesis is adjusted for inflation. Take a close look at those numbers, because for the first time in awhile the adjusted numbers show that Lawrence basically has returned to the pre-recession numbers of 2008 and early 2009. In other words, perhaps we have about dug out of that hole.
2013: $456 million
2012: $442.4 million ($448.5 million)
2011: $422.3 million ($437 million)
2010: $406.2 million ($433.6 million)
2009: $421.4 million ($457.22 million)
2008: $421.1 million ($455.2 million)
As for 2013, Lawrence’s growth rate is slightly above the statewide growth rate of 2.9 percent. Here’s a look at how Lawrence’s growth rate of 3.1 percent stacked up with some of the larger communities in the state:
• Emporia: up 2.9 percent
• Hays: up 3.3 percent
• Kansas City: up 5.8 percent
• Manhattan: down 3.2 percent
• Olathe: up 3.8 percent
• Ottawa: up 5 percent
• Overland Park: up 1.5 percent
• Shawnee: up 4.5 percent
• Topeka: down 0.1 percent
That list tells me one thing: My wife has been shopping in Kansas City. Dangit. I should have kept that joke to myself. Now, I have to find my banker’s number again.