Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 7.5 percent in January when compared to the year before.

Sales tax collection figures released Thursday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $647.1 million in January. That compares with $602.0 million in January 2014, a month in which severe winter storms shut down some local stores and kept shoppers away from businesses for three or four days.

The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.

This is the 12th month in a row sales have increased when compared to the year before.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 14.5 percent in January to nearly $372.4 million. This includes activity at most of the Mall of Louisiana.

Spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge was down 0.7 percent to $274.7 million.

Vehicle sales were up 16 percent from the year before, coming in at $65.6 million. Sales at food services and drinking establishments were up by nearly 11 percent for the month, while retail trade and food store sales were up by 9.3 percent for the month. Sales in the service category were down by 0.7 percent.

Tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 8.2 percent in January to nearly $14.3 million.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.