Third-quarter slip in retail sales

Retail sales in King County dropped 4.4 percent to $11.7 billion during the third quarter of 2008, about the same percentage decrease recorded statewide, according to the state Department of Revenue.

In retail trade – a subset of all taxable retail sales that excludes construction, services and other non-retail businesses – the decline in King County was 7.2 percent. Retail trade is a better measure of consumer purchases, officials said.