Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 5.6 percent in June, breaking a string of two months where economic activity was lower than the year before.
According to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department, businesses and consumers spent nearly $728.5 million in June. That compares with $690.1 million in June 2014. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
A big jump in manufacturing spending, a volatile sector, helped boost the June numbers. According to city-parish figures, sales tax collections from manufacturing activity were 65 percent higher than in June 2014. Manufacturing sales tax collections are prone to big swings because of big-ticket equipment purchases that don’t happen frequently. There was a 28 percent year-to-year drop in manufacturing spending in May that drove numbers down.
Service spending was up 8.6 percent from June 2014, while sales tax collections at food service and drinking establishments fell by 0.4 percent from June 2014.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 6.7 percent in June to $403.6 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 4.2 percent in June to nearly $324.9 million.
Vehicle sales were up 0.7 percent from the year before, reaching nearly $67.1 million for the month.
Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 5.1 percent in June to $15.9 million.
For the first six months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, ran 3.1 percent ahead of 2014’s pace to reach $4.1 billion. Spending is up 7.2 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits, at $2.35 billion. The total is down 1.9 percent outside the city limits, at $1.79 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 half of 2015, which includes vehicle sales, are up 3.2 percent to nearly $90.9 million.
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