A recent state economic report says Wyoming's sales tax collections were down by almost 17 percent for the first three months of Fiscal Year 2017 compared to the same time last year.

The precise amount of the decline was 16.7 percent. In raw numbers, that came out to about $31.9 million, according to senior State Economist JIm Robinson. The sales tax report covers the months of July through September.

Two of the state's major energy producing counties, Campbell and Natrona counties accounted for almost half of the decline.

Campbell County collections were down by $10.2 million, with Natrona County showing a decline of $5.0 million over the three month period. The fact that those two counties have been especially hard hit is not a surprise in view of the downturn in energy prices that has hit the state economy hard.

The Campbell and Natrona county economies are especially dependent on the energy industry.

Sales taxes are generally considered an especially accurate barometer of economic health because they are conducted on all business and commercial transactions.

Robinson says none of the 12 industry sectors that are tracked in the report were up compared to the same time in Fiscal Year 2016.

The sales tax collection numbers were part of the October 2016 edition of "Wyoming Insight," a monthly energy index and business indicators report issued by the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division.