Utah Economy: Lowest Increase in 15 Years

Utah Economy: Lowest Increase in 15 Years

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Spending by individuals and businesses in Utah last year rose just 0.3 percent, the lowest increase in 15 years, the Utah Tax Commission said.

The spending totaled $32.5 billion.

Increased spending during the 2002 Winter Olympics was not enough to compensate for reduced spending in other areas caused by job losses, Tax Commission economist Doug Macdonald said Tuesday.

Sales last year of taxable services purchased by businesses and individuals declined 2 percent to $4.6 billion, while business investment purchases dropped 6.4 percent to $8 billion.

Due in part to the Olympics, retail sales increased 3.4 percent to nearly $18.4 billion.

"Despite the job losses, consumers still spent quite a lot," Macdonald said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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