Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased 3.1 percent in April when compared with the year before.

Businesses and consumers spent nearly $692 million in April, according to figures released Wednesday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares with nearly $671 million in April 2015. The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.

April was the 11th consecutive month that year-to-year spending increased in East Baton Rouge Parish, and one that comes after a few months of tepid growth. Through the first three months of the year, spending was up by 0.4 percent in the parish.

Spending by category was mixed. Spending at restaurants and bars was up 8.6 percent, while spending at retail trade and food stores increased by 5 percent. Manufacturing spending, a traditionally volatile category, was up 8.5 percent. But spending on services dropped by 7.6 percent. Vehicle sales were down 8.8 percent from the year before at nearly $67.1 million.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within Baton Rouge city limits increased by 1.8 percent in April to $392.5 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 4.9 percent in April to nearly $299.5 million.

Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up nearly 2 percent in April to $15.2 million.

Through the first four months of the year, overall sales, excluding vehicle sales, are up 1.1 percent, to $2.76 billion.

Spending is up 0.1 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits at $1.56 billion. The total is up 2.5 percent outside the city limits to nearly $1.21 billion. Tax collections for the first four months of 2016, which include vehicle sales, are up 1 percent to $60.4 million.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.