December Tri-Cities sales tax gains trail Knoxville, Morristown; show year-over-year improvement

December sales tax collections dipped below November but were higher across Northeast Tennessee than December last year.

MTSU’s monthly seasonally adjusted sales tax collections report shows collections were 4.2% better than December last year in the Johnson City MSA and a 2.7% improvement in Kingsport-Bristol.

Morristown lead the region with a 7.4% improvement, followed by Knoxville, up 5.8%.

Statewide, collections were up 3.4% from last year and down 2% from November.

That monthly pattern was uniform in NE Tennessee’s four MSAs. Kingsport-Bristol suffered the least decline from November collections.

Morristown – down 5%.

Knoxville – down 2.1%.

Johnson City – down 1.4%.

Kingsport-Bristol – down 0.9%.

A statewide collections capsule can be found HERE

Nationwide the Commerce Department said seasonally adjusted sales were up 0.6% following a 0.2% November gain.

While auto sales showed their largest gain since April online retailers showed better sales.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index showed Americans were more confident at the end of the year than any other times since 2008.

Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

“In December, 30% of Americans rated the economy as “excellent” or “good,” while 22% said it was “poor,” resulting in a current condition score of +8. This was up from November’s +5 current conditions score and marks the highest reading for this component since 2008.

“Meanwhile, the outlook score was up more sharply, rising to +10 in December from -4 the prior month. The December score, the highest in Gallup tracking since 2008, reflected 52% of Americans saying economic conditions in the country were “getting better,” while 42% said they were “getting worse,” according to Gallup’s Web site.