Edinburg's retail economy in August reported a 13.42 percent improvement over the same month in 2010, a rate which was second best among the Valley's major communities, as well as better than the statewide average for all Texas cities, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Statewide, retail sales activities for all cities were up 12.2 percent in August 2011 over August 2010, while year-to-date, that rate of improvement was up 7.3 percent, according to the state comptroller's office.

From January through August, Edinburg's retail economy continued at a double-digit pace of growth, coming in 12.58 percent better than during the first eight months of 2010.

The strength of the city's retail economy is measured by the amount of local and state sales taxes generated by a wide range of local businesses.

Under the reporting system used by the state comptroller's office, local and state sales taxes generated on retail sales in August were collected by the state in September. In October, the state began sending back the local sales tax portion - called a rebate - to the cities in which the retail sales were made.

For the month of August, the city's retail economy generated $1,293,859.44 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,140,741.18 during the same month last year.

Between January and August 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $13,362,631.95 in local sales taxes - revenue which is used to help pay for important city services, such as public safety, infrastructure, and public parks. By comparison, the city's retail economy produced $11,869,183.65 during the same period last year.

McAllen, the retail sales leader for the Valley, reported a 6.39 percent improvement in August over the same month in 2010, while Brownsville, the Valley's most populous city, registered a 10.18 percent improvement in retail sales in August compared with the same month last year.

Harlingen, the fourth most populous city after Brownsville, McAllen, and Edinburg, respectively, showed a 7.98 percent improvement in retail sales in August compared with the same month last year.

Among the major cities in the Valley, Weslaco had the best monthly showing, registering a 15.73 percent improvement over August 2010. Pharr and Mission also posted positive numbers, with their retail sales in August up 11.10 percent and 9.90 percent, respectively, over August 2010.

The rates of improvement for all cities combined in Hidalgo and Cameron counties were also positive in monthly and year-to-date comparisons.

Retail sales for all cities in Hidalgo County in August 2011 were 9.47 percent better than the same month last year. Retail sales for all cities in Cameron County in August 2011 were 8.74 percent better than in August 2010.

Year-to-date, retail sales for all cities in Hidalgo County were 5.82 percent better from January through August 2011 than during the same period last year. Year-to-date, retail sales for all cities in Cameron County were 4.19 percent higher from January through August than during the same eight months in 2010.

Hidalgo and Cameron county governments do not collect a local sales tax.

Edinburg's August 2011 retail economy showings - both year-to-date and for the month of August - are part of a continuing positive trend documented by the state comptroller of public accounts.

The previous showings for Edinburg, going back to November 2010, follow:

In July 2011, the city's retail economy generated $1,151,365.57 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,112,745.44 in local sales taxes in July 2010.

In June 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,566,171.55 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,242,389.38 in local sales taxes in June 2010.

In May 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,194,491.73 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,088,198.03 in local sales taxes in May 2010.

In April 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,181,367.28 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,124,172.20 in local sales taxes in April 2010.

In March 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,672,045.16 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,425,614.92 in local sales taxes in March 2010.

In February 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,127,941.23 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,069,450.28 in February 2010.

In January 2011, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,313,889.30 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,079,226.86 in local sales taxes in January 2010.

In December 2010 - the crucial holiday shopping period - Edinburg set a record for the amount of local monthly sales taxes collected - $1,724,220.34 - which was an 11.2 percent improvement over the same month in 2009, when $1,550,742.56 in local sales taxes were collected.

In November 2010, Edinburg's retail economy generated $1,137,280.35 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,035,902.80 in local sales taxes in November 2009.

"Texas sales tax collections have now increased for 18 straight months," said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. "All sectors showed increases in September, led by business spending, especially in the oil and gas-related sectors. Consumer sectors like restaurants and retail trade were also up. The recovery in Texas has brought sales tax collections almost back to peak 2008 levels, however the near-term outlook remains clouded due to the uneven performance of the U.S. economy."

For details of October payments - which represent sales taxes generated from retail sales August - to individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, locate the Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports on the comptroller's web site at:

www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/allocsum/compsum.html.