Sales-tax collections for the region show the area is making gains economically, but the growth is modest.
Sales and use tax collections, which mirror growth in local retail sales, were up about 4 percent in Mahoning County for the first four months of 2014 compared with 2013, according to the most-recent figures available from the Ohio Department of Taxation.
With inflation at 2 percent, however, the real growth rate of 2 percent is considered “modest,” according to Dr. Tod Porter, chair of the department of economics at Youngstown State University.
“It shows that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
The figures are not high enough that people should be celebrating, Porter said. Really good growth rates start at about 5 percent.
“Things are getting a little better, but they can be safely called pretty modest,” he said.
Trumbull County sales and use tax collection was up 3 percent from January through April for 1 percent real growth after inflation. Columbiana County also was up by 1 percent in real growth.
Read more about the state of our economy in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.