Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 2.3% in April compared with a year ago.
Just over $794.4 million was spent in April, according to figures released by the city-parish finance department late Tuesday. That compares with nearly $776.6 million in spending during April 2018. The figures include vehicle sales.
Vehicle sales were down by 1.7% in April compared with the year before. East Baton Rouge shoppers spent $61.6 million on cars, trucks and SUVs, compared with $62.7 million in April 2018.
Spending by category was mixed. Consumers spent 2.1% more at retail trade and food stores, a category that accounts for more than half of all the spending in the parish. Spending also was up on services, by 19.2%. But spending at restaurants and bars was down by 3.1% and manufacturing, a volatile category that can be influenced by purchases of big-ticket equipment items, was down .8% over April 2018.
Spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge rose by 2.4% in April to nearly $340.2 million. Inside the city limits, spending was up by 2.2% to $454.3 million. Sales tax collections rose from $15.5 million to $15.9 million. Through the first four months of the year, spending is up 2.5% from nearly $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion. Spending is up 4% outside the city limits and up 1.3% inside the Baton Rouge city limits.