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Annual reports shows Utah alcohol sales continue to grow

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — New numbers show alcohol sales in Utah continued a two-decade climb this year, with the state liquor department reporting record sales of nearly $406 million.

The annual report from Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control released Tuesday shows total sales for the 2016 budget year were 7.8 percent higher than the previous year.

The higher sales aren't just from Utah's growing population, now the fastest rising in the country. State figures show those who drink in the majority-Mormon state appear to be buying more alcohol.

The average gallons of alcohol consumed per person was 2.85, up from 2.76 last year.

The numbers include sales of all alcohol in Utah restaurants, bars and state-controlled liquor stores. It excludes beer that contains less than 4 percent alcohol by volume, which can be purchased at grocery and convenience stores.

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