Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 2.7 percent in 2014, despite a modest increase during the holiday shopping season.
Sales tax collection figures released Friday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $8.2 billion in 2014. That compares with $8 billion in 2013.
The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.
Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 7.1 percent for 2014 to nearly $4.6 billion. But spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge was down 2.1 percent for the year to nearly $3.7 billion.
The figures were affected by the city-parish’s recent annexation of much of the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Medical Center’s Bluebonnet Boulevard campus, which took effect June 15.
Retail sales, which account for almost 52 percent of the economic activity in the parish, were up 3 percent for the year. Sales at food service and drinking places, which account for 10 percent of activity, were up by 4.6 percent in 2014. But manufacturing sales, which make up 9 percent of activity, were 4 percent lower when compared with 2013.
Vehicle sales were up 5.5 percent from the year before, reaching nearly $753.6 million for the year.
Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up nearly 3 percent in 2014 to $180 million.
In December, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, was up by 1.2 percent when compared with December 2013, to come in at nearly $802.6 million. That was the biggest month for sales during the year. Spending was up 12.3 percent in the city limits during December to $451.3 million. But outside the city limits, activity was down by 10.3 percent to $351.2 million.
Retail sales were up 2.5 percent for the month of December, slightly below the pace set earlier in the year. Manufacturing sales were down 11.3 percent when compared month to month, and service activity was 1 percent lower than in December 2013.
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