Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 3.4 percent in February compared with a year ago.
Sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish Finance Department on Friday show businesses and consumers spent $658 million in February. That compares with $636.4 million in February 2014.
The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
Sales were up in all categories, including manufacturing, which increased by 14.8 percent and food services and drinking establishments, which were up by 6.9 percent from the year before.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within the city limits was up 7.6 percent in February to nearly $372.8 million. This includes activity at Cortana Mall, most of the Mall of Louisiana and on College Drive.
Spending outside the city limits, which includes big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was down 1.7 percent in February to nearly $285.3 million.
Vehicle sales were up 1.6 percent from the year before, reaching nearly $59 million for the month.
Tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 3.3 percent in February to $14.3 million.
For the first two months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, is running nearly 5.4 percent ahead of 2014’s pace at $1.31 billion.
Spending is up nearly 11 percent in the city limits, at $745.2 million. The total is down 1.2 percent outside the city limits, at nearly $560 million.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.