Taxable retail sales in Whatcom County increased 6.7 percent to more than $792 million in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same time last year.
Mike Gowrylow with the state Department of Revenue says the number is a good way to measure the economy..
Retail trade in Whatcom County, which excludes services like restaurants and construction, also increased 6.7 percent. Statewide, taxable retail sales increased 4.7 percent to $26.8 billion during the second quarter of 2012.
Construction was up 7 percent, motor vehicles and parts rose 12.9 percent, accommodations and food services increased 5.4 percent, and general merchandise stores were up 2.1 percent.