Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish was slightly higher in January when compared with the year before, rising by 0.5 percent.
Businesses and consumers spent $647.4 million in January, according to figures released Monday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares with $647.1 million in January 2015. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
This was the eighth consecutive month that spending increased year to year in East Baton Rouge.
Spending by category was mixed. Spending on services was up 6.2 percent from January 2015, but retail sales dropped by 0.6 percent and spending at restaurants and bars was virtually unchanged, coming in at 0.1 less than the year before. Manufacturing spending, a traditionally volatile category, was up 5 percent.
Vehicle sales were down 2.8 percent from the year before, at nearly $63.7 million for January.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was down 2.3 percent in January to $363.8 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 up 3.2 percent in January to $283.6 million.
That’s the reverse of a recent trend of economic activity increasing inside the city limits and sales dropping outside of Baton Rouge, especially since Costco and much of the Mall of Louisiana were annexed in early 2014.
Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were down 0.2 percent in January to $14.2 million.
For all of 2015, consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 2.6 percent to reach almost $8.6 billion.
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