East Baton Rouge Parish Retail Spending Increases

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 4.1 percent in October, continuing a nine-month streak of sales activity outstripping 2013 figures.

         Sales tax collection figures released Tuesday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $693.7 million in October. That compares with nearly $666.7 million in spending in October 2013.

         The Advocate’s Timothy Boone  reports 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 9.6 percent in October to nearly $389.9 million. But spending outside the city limits of Baton Rouge was down nearly 2.1 percent in October to $303.8 million.

         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 on June 15.

         Vehicle sales were up 12.6 percent from the year before, reaching $66.8 million for the month.

         Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 4.8 percent in October to $15.2 million.

         For the first 10 months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, ran 3.1 percent ahead of 2013's pace, at nearly $6.8 billion.

         Spending is up 6.6 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits, at $3.7 billion. The total is down 2.1 percent outside the city limits, at nearly $3.1 billion.

         Tax collections through October, which include vehicle sales, are up 3.3 percent to nearly $148.5 million.

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