I’ve added a tab to the GR Pundit web site with what I’ve created and now call the “Michigan Sales Tax Revenue Index.” You can view it by clicking on the tab above. This index is a three month average (to smooth the volatility) of the state’s sales tax revenue. Any number above zero means that sales tax revenue is higher that month than the previous year, and any number below zero means that revenue was below the prior year’s. These are year over year, monthly numbers.
June’s Revenue Index level was 1.63, meaning an increase in sales tax revenues from June of last year. But it’s important to remember that last year’s index was -12.7, which was a whopping decrease from 2008.
Sales tax revenue is one of the best current indicators of economic activity. While the government releases GDP numbers and other stats, they are generally several months old. Sales tax data is a better snapshot of the economy now.
This chart will be updated monthly as the Senate Fiscal Agency releases monthly revenue reports.