Got an email from a colleague today that contained the Bismarck Mandan Chamber's monthly "Economy at a Glance" report.  The odds of me diving into these numbers would be zip if not for a pandemic year.  So, I figured I'd take a glance. You can see monthly breakdowns from 2020 and 2019 by clicking this Bismarck Mandan Chamber link.  Dependent upon how interested in that kind of stuff you are, you may be gone a awhile.  So we'll continue on without you for now.

I'm not going to crunch all the numbers, because I'm not at all wired that way.  But what really jumps off the page for me is-

Quarter 2 Taxable Sales and Purchases for Mandan

Q2-2020                                   Q2-2019

$75,706,971                              $71,755,942

That is fascinating.  What the world?  How about Bismarck?

Q2-2020                                   Q2-2019

$383,821,912                             $418,008,445

The Bismarck numbers seem to fall in line with a period where a ton of businesses where unable to even open!  Any answers from the reader?  Was Mandan the only place that was selling RVs, boats, jetskis, bicycles, hot tubs, appliances, or fishing licenses. Because those items were, and still are, hot as heck. Looking for a freezer anyone?

City Sales Tax Collections on the other hand are out-pacing 2019, partially due to Bismarck's half cent hike in April of 2019. For whatever reasons, August was down for both Bismarck and Mandan, but 2020 year to date is bringing in way more sales taxes for both cities versus 2019.

They call it "Economy at a Glance" I think it's a pretty interesting glance too!  Here's that link again.

If you'd like to start up a discussion about economics, I need to add that during my college years I had an 8 AM Economics class with the most monotone instructor ever!  Slept through most of it.  I'd probably nap through our discussion as well.