Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased 1.3 percent in February when compared with the year before.
Businesses and consumers spent nearly $666.6 million in February, according to figures released Tuesday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares with $658 million in February 2015. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
This was the ninth consecutive month that year-to-year spending increased in East Baton Rouge Parish. However, February had one more day than last year, thanks to leap year.
Spending by category was mixed. Spending on services was up 7.2 percent from February 2015, and retail sales increased by 2.3 percent. But spending at restaurants and bars fell by 0.8 percent. Manufacturing spending, a traditionally volatile category, was down 11 percent.
Vehicle sales were up 0.9 percent from the year before at nearly $59.5 million for February.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within Baton Rouge city limits was virtually unchanged from the year before, increasing by 0.04 percent in February to $372.9 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 2.9 percent in February to $293.6 million.
Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up nearly 1.3 percent in February to $14.5 million.
Through the first two months of the year, overall sales, excluding vehicle sales, are up 0.7 percent, to $1.31 billion.
Spending is down 1.1 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits at $736.7 million. The total is up 3.1 percent outside the city limits to $577.2 million. Tax collections for the first two months of 2016, which includes vehicle sales, are up 0.5 percent to $28.7 million.
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