Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 2.8 percent in July, the second month in a row where economic activity was higher than the year before.

According to figures released Tuesday by the city-parish Finance Department, businesses and consumers spent nearly $701.8 million in July. That compares with $682.5 million in July 2014. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.

Service spending was up 8.4 percent from July 2014, while sales tax collections at food-service and drinking establishments increased by 4.8 percent from July 2014.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 7.6 percent in July to $400.1 million. This includes activity at Cortana Mall and for most of the Mall of Louisiana.

Spending outside the city limits, which includes big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was down 2.9 percent in July to $301.6 million.

Vehicle sales were up 9.5 percent from the year before, reaching nearly $68.9 million for July.

Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 3.4 percent in July to $15.4 million.

For the first seven months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, ran 3 percent ahead of 2014’s pace to reach $4.8 billion.

Spending is up 7.3 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits, at $2.75 billion. The total is down 2 percent outside the city limits, at nearly $2.1 billion. Those numbers have been affected by the annexation of much of the Mall of Louisiana, which took effect in June 2014.

Tax collections for the seven months of 2015, which includes vehicle sales, are up 3.3 percent to reach $106.3 million.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.