Retail

WA: Outpacing The Store Front Nation

While a primary is happening today in Washington State, the news media is mostly focused on looking backward and forward. Backward at the Nevada Democratic Convention — and the various chair-throwing shenanigans that marked the occasion — and forward toward the two national conventions this summer.

In a big narrative switch from even a few, short weeks ago, the Republicans are heading toward a unified and organized national pep rally, with Donald Trump improbably throned as pep leader, while the Democrats are apparently warming up to do some of the fiercest battle since “Gladiator” was in theaters.

And while the various breakdowns of all the ways a political gathering of supposedly like-minded individuals can break down on offer in the national news have made for entertaining viewing, it does have the unfortunate net effect of forcing the news to look around late primary states, like Washington. Today’s voting is a bit less interesting than the fighting that surrounds it.

PYMNTS will not be skipping Washington, as it is a location among equals in our Store Front Business Index and we don’t care what order it holds in the primary. But, given its results in that index, the fact that Washington is rolling in as the “Oh, hey, are they voting today?” place is oddly fitting.

The state itself would seem to be a sanguine place, at least as measured by our store front metrics. Washington outpaced both the region and the nation on nearly every line item through the second quarter of last year. The overall numbers, at 4 percent growth for the state outclassed the country at just over 3 percent. The greatest tailwind came from employment growth, at 4.6 percent, more than 100 points better than the benchmarks, and the only result that could be termed mixed came from the real wages data — certainly not weak at 5.6 percent for the state but lagging the region a bit, where that number was 7.5 percent.

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