Consumer spending

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 1.7% in July compared to a year ago.

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 1.7% in July compared with a year ago.

Just over $796.6 million was spent in July, according to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department Wednesday. That compares with $783.3 million in spending during July 2018. The figures include vehicle sales.

Vehicle sales rose by 7% in July compared with the year before. East Baton Rouge shoppers spent $68.5 million on cars, trucks and SUVs, compared with $64 million in July 2018.

Spending by category was mixed. Consumers spent 0.4% 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 1.8%. Spending on manufacturing, a volatile category that can be influenced by purchases of big-ticket equipment items, was down 0.6%. But spending was up on services by 16%. 

Spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge rose by 4.2% in July to $356.7 million. Inside the city limits, spending was down by 0.2% to $440 million.

Sales tax collections rose from nearly $15.7 million to $15.9 million.

Through the first seven months of the year, spending is up 1.4% from $5.5 billion to nearly $5.6 billion. Spending is up 2.8% outside the Baton Rouge city limits and 0.4% percent inside the city limits.

Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.