Whatcom County retail sales grew at a faster rate for the year than the state average, according to a new report.
Taxable retail sales in Whatcom County totaled $3.03 billion in 2011, up 4.1 percent compared to 2010. Retail trade, which focuses on items sold in stores, totaled $1.5 billion, a 7.3 percent increase over the previous year.
Across the state, taxable retail sales increased 3 percent to $103.8 billion in calendar year 2011, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Retail trade increased 3.5 percent over 2010 to $47.9 billion.
Among major industries across the state, construction was down 1.7 percent but still much better than the 12 percent decline in 2010. New and used auto sales were up 8.3 percent compared to a 2.8 percent gain in 2010. Accommodations and food services rose 5.1 percent, apparel and accessories increased 5.5 percent, and sales of building materials, garden equipment and supplies declined 0.3 percent.