Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregonians spent about $2 million more on distilled spirits this past January than they did in January of last year.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission reports that individuals and businesses spent more in dollar sales and bought more in volume.

These figures reflect the purchase of more hard liquor like tequila, vodka, bourbon, and whiskey. It does not include beer or wine.

Christie Scott is with OLCC. She says the results don't mean Oregonians are drinking more.

"Well, when we look at the numbers, what that really says is that people aren't necessarily buying more alcohol," Scott says. "They're buying more expensive alcohol. And that's a really good indicator of economic recovery that Oregon is seeing right now, too."

Scott says while the volume of liquor sold increased by almost 4 percent, the money spent increased by about 6 percent.

Individuals spent more on hard liquor than did liquor-licensed businesses.

The revenue generated from those sales goes to cities, counties, and the state. The money may be used to fund law enforcement, schools, and alcohol and drug addiction programs.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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