Washington County Economy Improves “Little By Little”

As reported by the Hagerstown Herald-Mail, the Washington County economy is growing “little by little.”

From January through June, spending here totaled $813 million, a 1.6 percent increase over the $800 million spent in the first half of 2013 on purchases on which consumers paid Maryland sales tax, according to The Herald-Mail’s study of sales tax collections in the county.

To measure the economic progress of the area, the Hagerstown Herald-Mail has been tracking state sales taxes collected by local businesses.

In Washington County, spending on taxable purchases in 2007 alone topped $1.74 billion.

The following year, as Americans realized the riskiness of their new adjustable rate mortgages, the sales and prices of homes across the nation dropped sharply. Along Main Streets nationwide, business shrunk, unemployment climbed and wallets thinned.

In this county alone, spending on taxable items during 2008 fell to $1.65 billion — $90 million less than was spent here in 2007, the newspaper’s estimates show.

Sales continued to decline until 2010 and then slowly began to inch up.

By 2013, purchases had risen to $1.66 billion.

That mark is worth noting because it is $700 million more than what was spent here in 2008.

However, the article indicates that some businesses are still affected by the uncertain economy, while others are recovering much more strongly.  The article provides an overview of how many business sectors are performing in the area.