Economic Recovery is Underway in Santa Fe | City of Santa Fe

Economic Recovery is Underway in Santa Fe

4 Jun, 2021

Spike in March Retail Sales Leads the Way


JUNE 3, 2021 -- For the second consecutive month, Santa Fe’s Gross Taxable Receipts show significant year-over-year growth compared to both 2020 and 2019 – an indicator that the recovery from the pandemic-induced recession is officially underway.


March 2021 taxable gross receipts for Santa Fe businesses were strong, surpassing both March 2020 (by $54.8 million) and March 2019 (by $20.7 million). Total taxable gross receipts in March 2021 were $305.3 million, 21.9 percent greater than March 2020, and 7.3 percent greater than in March 2019.


Retail Trade was up dramatically, with $93.6 million in taxable gross receipts for March 2021, compared to $65 million in March 2020 and $75.8 million in March 2019. That represents year-over-year (YOY) growth of 44 percent and 23 percent for those respective months.


The New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department reports that the substantial increase in retail in Santa Fe for the month of March is in line with statewide growth: “Mid-March is when significant stimulus checks were sent out and likely stimulated significant GRT retail activity. Additionally, Covid-related restrictions were beginning to loosen and travel was increasing, as demonstrated by the significant growth in Accommodation and Food Services. Due to tourism, Santa Fe was likely especially leveraged to increases in disposable income and the progressive opening of the economy.”


City Finance Department Investment Officer Brad Fluetsch says: “Besides the blow-out taxable retail sales coming in $28.6 million more than a year ago, the fact that 16 of the 21 industry groups had year-over-year growth and 13 of 21 industries had growth over 2019 indicates a very strong recovery going on in Santa Fe.”


Construction remains strong, up 15.7 percent YOY -- plus $5.7 million in receipts and $6.1 million more than March 2019. Real Estate, Rental and Leasing was up 40.3 percent over March 2020 and 28.8 percent over 2019.


The Tax and Revenue Department issues the reports two months after the calendar month, so they represent a snapshot of spending more than two months in the past. Sectors that show gains over 2020 but continue to lag pre-pandemic 2019 include Accommodations and Food Services and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. These categories may reasonably be expected to have picked up since March.


Mayor Alan Webber says: “The continuing good financial news shows that the sacrifices everyone made during the pandemic in Santa Fe, and the resilience we showed, are paying off -- not just in terms of public health and safety, but in a robust recovery.”


Read the City's March GRT memo here.

Read about the ongoing housing construction boom here.