Lafayette letters stock

Advocate file photo of the concrete LAFAYETTE letters at Parc Sans Souci in the style of Wassily Kandinsky's well-known work Squares with Concentric Circles Friday, March 2, 2018, in Lafayette, La.

People spent more money in Lafayette Parish last year as data indicates the total taxable retail sales in 2018 was the second-highest on record.

Thanks to a spike in November and December, sales for the year hit $6 billion, the highest mark since 2014 when sales topped $6.4 billion, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority announced Tuesday morning. More than $577 million in sales were reported in December, and the $518 million in November set a record for that month. 

The 2018 total is up 4 percent from 2017 and 4.7 percent from 2016, and it also had year-over-year increases for the last 11 months.

“Holiday shopping met LEDA’s forecast of $1 billion, which is an encouraging sign for continued upward momentum,” said Gregg Gothreaux, authority president and CEO. “Taxable sales have rebounded from the decline that began in 2015.”

Total taxable sales ended up in all municipalities compared with 2017 — Lafayette (1.1 percent), Broussard (13.25 percent), Carencro (8.0 percent), Duson (25.8 percent), Scott (17.0 percent), Youngsville (18.4 percent) and unincorporated areas of the parish (4.4 percent).

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Within the city of Lafayette, year-end sales were up in the food, auto, furniture and miscellaneous categories, ranging from 6.8 percent to 0.9 percent. Apparel, general merchandise, building materials and services were down between from 0.4 percent to 3.9 percent.

“As we start a new year, it’s important to remember that shopping in local stores keeps sales tax revenue in our community to support schools, jobs, roads and safety," Gothreaux said. "Strong retail and service industries have played a key role in stabilizing Lafayette’s economy the past four years.”

Sales tax collection numbers are gathered by the Lafayette Parish School System.

Acadiana Business Today: Taxable sales in Lafayette Parish in 2018 second-highest on record; Evangeline Thruway team requests $525K for area projects

Follow Adam Daigle on Twitter, @adamdaigleAdv.