Lower Sales Revenues Heading into Holiday Season

Audit Date: November 25, 2009
Audit Categories
  • Financial
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
November 25, 2009

Contact: Brian Dries

Lower Sales Revenues Heading into Holiday Season
Controller’s monthly economic report looks at the City’s
sales receipts leading up to the holiday shopping season


PHILADELPHIA – With the prime holiday shopping season only days away, the City Controller’s Monthly Economic Report released today indicates the City’s sales revenues are almost $1 million less than last year’s collections.

The Economic Snapshot and Forecast shows the City’s current sales tax receipts were $9.4 million for October. Last year at this time the figure stood at $10.3 million. Total collections to date give the City a nine percent decrease in sales from last year.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales nationally will decrease one percent compared to last year. If the national prediction is accurate, the City is positioned to collect just under $12 million in sales revenues for the holiday season, which would be a four-year low.

Even though low sales figures are predicted for the upcoming months, the City should gain revenue through the increased sales tax. The one percent increase in the City’s sales tax was implemented Oct. 8, with revenues likely to reflect the increase beginning in December.

The Economic Snapshot and Monthly Forecast are compiled by the Financial and Policy Analysis staff. The City Controller’s office circulates these documents on a monthly basis to assist key decision makers in understanding and anticipating local and national economic trends.

The Monthly Economic Snapshot presents key economic data for the United States, the Greater Philadelphia Region, and the City of Philadelphia. The Monthly Economic Forecast Review is a collection of projections from prominent economic institutions and an analysis of their forecasts of future economic performance. These two documents together — the Snapshot and the Forecast Review — are a useful tool for policy makers and analysts in understanding our city’s and country’s economy.