September was another solid month for sales tax collections in the Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Its year-over-year collections growth rate outperformed the other metro areas in Northeast Tennessee and the state benchmark. Only Clarksville had as better September rate.
From a trends perspective, Kingsport-Bristol’s collections have been flat since May, but they’re flat on the high-side of the first nine months of last year. Kingsport-Bristol also has the best record in the region for growing and sustaining its market of sales tax collections.
Here’s how the seasonally-adjusted year-to-year and month-to-month collections looked in NE Tenn. As reported by the MTSU Department of Economics and Finance and the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations:
Kingsport-Bristol, up 7.5%
Morristown, up 6.6%
Knoxville, up 6.5%
Johnson City, up 5.7%
Tennessee, up 7.2%.
Kingsport-Bristol, up 8.4%
Johnson City, up 2.7%
Morristown, up 1.6%
Knoxville, up 0.7%
Tennessee, up 2%
Although the Johnson City MSA has lagged Kingsport-Bristol’s performance all year its growth rate has slowly increased every month since June while they have been flat in Kingsport-Bristol since May. But they have been flat in the range of 4% better than year-to-date collections last year, which is the best performance of any of the NE Tenn. MSAs.
Nationwide consumer spending was up 0.4% in September and consumers were buying more new cars and recreational goods. That type spending happens with the economy is strong. The only storm clouds on September’s consumer spending landscape was incomes increased 0.2% – the smallest increase in 13 months. The savings rate was also down by 0.2%.
At its current pace, the consumer spending rate is sufficient to keep the economy growing.