Shoppers spent fewer dollars with retailers in the Bath-Brunswick area as 2012 drew to a close. But the Midcoast region did better than the state as a whole.

Data from the State Panning Office show retail sales throughout the Brunswick market area totaled $63.4 million in December — a 3.9 percent drop from the $66 million spent in December 2011.

The drop was better than the state at large — where year-over-year December sales shed 5.8 percent, from $1.79 billion to $1.69 billion.

Overall, fourth quarter retail sales dropped in Bath 0.6 percent and in Brunswick 1.9 percent. But Topsham’s sales rose 5.8 percent, from $45.7 million to $48.1 million. Freeport eked out a 0.9 percent boost from the same quarter in 2011.

Mike Allen, associate finance commissioner at Maine Revenue Services, told lawmakers earlier this year December’s statewide decline in sales could be attributed to theexpirationofa2percent cut in the payroll tax and rising gasoline prices.

Maine’s retailers employ approximately 90,000, according to the Retail Association of Maine.

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