Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish continued to perform well in July, coming in 13.4% higher than the year before.
Nearly $935.1 million was spent in the parish during July, according to figures released Tuesday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares to $824.3 million spent in July 2020, after the state’s stay-at-home order had been lifted and loosened..
For a pre-pandemic comparison, $796.6 million was spent across the parish in July 2019.
July vehicle sales posted an even bigger increase, going up 23.3% from $77 million to $95 million.
Spending in all categories was up compared to 2020. Retail and grocery sales, which account for more than 52% of all activity in the parish, were up by 13.1%; in restaurants and bars, 27.3%; and services, 6.1%. Manufacturing, a volatile category that can be influenced by the purchase of big-ticket equipment, was up 10.1% in July from the year before.
Inside the city limits, spending was up 22.5% from July 2020 to come in at $559.7 million. That compares to nearly $440 million in spending the year.
The increase was smaller for spending in the rest of the parish. There was $375.4 million spent in July, a 2.1% increase from July 2020, when $367.6 million was spent in the area.
Sales tax collections in July were $18.7 million, compared to nearly $16.5 million in July 2020.
Through the first seven months of the year, nearly $6.3 billion has been spent in the parish, a 15.4% increase over the $5.4 billion spent through July 2020. In the city limits, nearly $3.7 billion has been spent, a 22.2% increase over the nearly $3 billion spent during the first seven months of 2020. In the parish, spending was up 7.1% from $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion.