Experts were predicting a busy Christmas shopping season, but according to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, sales are surging beyond expectations, hitting eleven percent higher than last year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"The double-digit growth in sales tax revenue compared to last year was fueled, in part, by increased collections from oil- and natural gas-related sectors," Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. "Collections from retail trade and restaurants were also up, reflecting growth in consumer spending."
Sales tax revenue is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 58 percent of all tax collections.
George Kelemen, who heads the Texas Retailers Association, says the surge in sales is a direct reflection of the state's economy.
"The weather has been great. The economy is doing well. Unemployment is low. We've bounced back from the downturn in the oil and gas sector."
And, he says many gas stations are selling regular unleaded for less than $2.00 a gallon.
"People have disposable income. They're ready to get out and shop."
And, with strong sales, he says seasonal jobs are also strong, which is good news for people looking for a way to pay for all those presents.