Orange County taxable sales increased 11% to $5.4 billion in the first quarter of this year, outstripping the statewide average. Sales were ahead despite a broad-based decline in new car sales--typically the county's sales leader.
Statewide, taxable sales totaled $52 billion, an increase of 5.5% over the first quarter last year. The state gross national product advanced at an annual rate of 4.4% during the 1987 first quarter, according to the State Board of Equalization's quarterly taxable sales report.
County sales breakdowns by type of business won't be available for several weeks, but new car dealers' taxable receipts statewide fell to $5.1 billion, a 1.6% decline from the comparable period in 1986.
The decline was caused by a change in federal income tax law that took away a credit on sales tax paid for new cars, according to Sid Mandel, a spokesman for the Equalization Board. The credit prompted a buying spree before it expired at the end of the year, leading to a sluggish first quarter, said Jeff Reynolds, a chief researcher at the board.