State liquor sales could be another indication the economy is improving. Iowa Department of Alcoholic Beverages Division spokesperson, Tonya Dusold, says overall sales are ahead of last year.

Dusold says sales are up about four-and-a-quarter percent, with $163.5-million in sales compared to $156-million in sales last year. She says they project a 3% increase for the fiscal year that will end in June — which would mean sales of $217-million compared to $210-million dollars last year.

Dusold says the types and sizes of alcohol being sold are an indication that the economy is getting better. She says bigger bottles are selling well, but people are buying more premium brands compared to the value brands. She says they’ve seen a pick up in sales of liter bottles, which are typically purchased by bars and restaurants, and could indicate a pick up in sales by bars and restaurants.

Dusold says the final months of the fiscal year should see a seasonal boost in sales. She says they usually see a “pretty good pick up” in May and June as people get out and have barbecues and go boating and head into summer activities.

If the revenue projections hold, the division would transfer over $100-million to the state general fund at the end of the fiscal year compared to $99.455 million last year.