Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 0.5 percent in October, the fifth month in a row in which economic activity was higher than the year before.
Businesses and consumers spent $698.4 million in October, according to figures released Friday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares with $695 million in October 2014. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
Spending by category was mixed. Spending on services was up 7.8 percent from October 2014, and retail sales increased by 0.4 percent. Manufacturing spending, a traditionally volatile category, was down 10.7 percent.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 4 percent in October to $406.6 million. This includes activity for most of the Mall of Louisiana and at Cortana Mall.
Spending outside the city limits, which includes big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was down 4.1 percent in October to $291.8 million.
Vehicle sales were down 0.6 percent from the year before, reaching nearly $66.4 million for October.
Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 0.4 percent in October to $15.3 million.
For the first 10 months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, ran 2.5 percent ahead of 2014’s pace to reach nearly $7 billion.
Spending is up 6.1 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits, at nearly $4 billion. The total is down 2 percent outside the city limits, at nearly $3 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 first 10 months of 2015, which includes vehicle sales, are up 2.6 percent to $152.4 million.
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