Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Debunking the Wal-Mart Myths #7: Moscow’s Role as the Palouse Retail Trade Hub is Not “That” Important

Wal-Mart Myth #7 debunked by Steven Peterson, U of I Research Economist, at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce luncheon on August 23, 2006.

Charge #7: Moscow’s role as the Palouse retail trade hub and home is not “that” important for the local economy or the future of the city.

Fact: Retail sales are important to Moscow

  • Pullman produced fewer retail sales than Clarkston, a town less than 1/3rd the size of Pullman. Lewiston produced $571 million in retail sales in 2002 (adjusted to 2005 dollars), Moscow - $278 million, Clarkston - $158 million and Pullman - $149 million.

  • Pullman’s per capita retail sales were $5,996 versus $13,060 for Moscow and $18,506 for Lewiston. Clarkston had the highest per capita sales at $21,570, in part from Costco Store which opened in Clarkston a few years ago.

  • Fact: Moscow has substantial injections

  • Moscow had a net inflow of dollar injections of approximately $194.5 million from retail trade sales, service sales, and commuting dollars. Rural Latah County (excluding Moscow) lost a net of $34.9 million since most businesses are situated in Moscow. In total, Latah County as a whole had a net injection of $159.6 million for 2004.

  • Pullman had a net leakage of approximately $95.5 million from all sources. Rural Whitman County lost a net of $62.9 million from all sources. In total, Whitman County had a net loss of $158.4 million for 2004.

  • Spokane County was first in the region in per household retail trade comparisons ( $64,633) followed by Clarkston ($50,433), Lewiston ($44,551), Ada County ($36,984), and Moscow ($36,205). Pullman stood at $16,846, or about 47% of Moscow.

  • Latah County's per capita real incomes and real median family incomes have been rising over the last 3 decades (in part) because Moscow has become the home and shopping center of the Palouse.

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