Economic indicators: so far, so good

The new year brings more good economic news in the Grand Valley in the form of increasing sales tax collections and real estate activity.

The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County both reported year-over-year gains in January sales tax collections based on December sales. The latest numbers are doubly important not only in quantifying holiday sales, but also because the largest month of the year for sales tax collections usually occurs in the first month of the year.

The city reported a 1.6 percent increase in sales and use tax collections, while the county gain was even more impressive at 11 percent. Sales tax collections are projected to continue to increase in 2015.

By the way, a monthly measure of hotel and motel stays increased 5.3 percent in January with more than $64,000 in lodging tax collections in Grand Junction.

Meanwhile, the pace of real estate activity in Mesa County picked up in February after a slow start in January. For the first two months of 2015, real estate transactions have increased 3 percent and the combined dollar volume of those transactions has increased 9 percent over the same span in 2014.

It’s too early to tell, of course, just how 2015 will play out. But early economic indicators appear encouraging. Here’s hoping the upward trend continues.