Consumer spending

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by .6% in August compared with a year ago.

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 0.6% in August compared with a year ago.

Just over $834.2 million was spent in June, according to figures released by the city-parish Finance Department late Tuesday. That compares with $829 million in spending during August 2018. The figures include vehicle sales.

Vehicle sales rose by 1.9% in August compared with the year before. East Baton Rouge shoppers spent $67.1 million on cars, trucks and SUVs, compared with $65.8 million in August 2018.

Spending by category was up across the board. Consumers spent 2.6% more 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 up by 7.1% and spending on services rose by 11.6%. Spending on manufacturing, a volatile category that can be influenced by purchases of big-ticket equipment items, was up by 7.9% over August 2018.

Spending inside the city limits of Baton Rouge rose by 2.6% in August to nearly $457.9 million. Outside the city limits spending fell by 1.7% to $376.3 million.

Sales tax collections rose from nearly $16.6 million to $16.7 million.

Through the first eight months of the year, spending is up 1.3% from $6.3 billion to $6.4 billion. Spending is up 2.2% outside the Baton Rouge city limits and 0.7% percent inside the city limits.

Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.