Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish dropped by 1.5% in June compared with a year ago.
Just over $796.6 million was spent in June, according to figures released by the city-parish finance department Wednesday. That compares with $808.5 million in spending during June 2018. The figures include vehicle sales.
Vehicle sales rose by 0.6% in June compared with the year before. East Baton Rouge shoppers spent $61.1 million on cars, trucks and SUVs, compared with $60.8 million in June 2018.
Spending by category was mixed. Consumers spent 0.6% less at retail trade and food stores, a category that accounts for more than half of all the spending in the parish. Spending at restaurants and bars was down by 1.7%. But spending was up on services, by 2%. Spending on manufacturing, a volatile category that can be influenced by purchases of big-ticket equipment items, was down 2.5% over June 2018.
Spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge rose by 3.5% in June to $356.7 million. Inside the city limits, spending was down by 5.1% to $440 million.
Sales tax collections dropped from nearly $16.2 million to $15.9 million.
Through the first half of the year, spending is up 1.4% from $4.7 billion to nearly $4.8 billion. Spending is up 2.6% outside the Baton Rouge city limits and 0.5% percent inside the city limits.