Indicators offer mixed outlook

As is so often the case, the latest indicators offer something of a mixed outlook for the Grand Valley economy.

The bad news is that sales and use tax collections for the City of Grand Junction and Mesa County dropped in March. More troubling still, March was the third straight month of year-over-year declines. For the first quarter, sales and use tax collections were down  six-tenths of a percent for the city and 4 percent for the county. Sales tax collections offer a key indicator of retail sales and, more generally, the health of the economy.

There’s good news, though, in the latest numbers for the real estate market in Mesa County. For March, transactions increased 12.9 percent and dollar volume jumped 34.9 percent compared to the same month last year. For the first quarter, transactions were up 11.4 percent and dollar volume up 20.8 percent.

The hospitality sector continues to fare well, too, with a 6.9 percent increase in March in lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays. For the first quarter, lodging tax collections were up 5.4 percent.