Retail spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose 9 percent in April, another strong month for a key economic indicator.
Businesses and consumers spent $663.5 million in the parish that month compared with $607.1 million a year earlier, according to figures compiled by the city-parish Finance Department.
For the year, spending is up 8 percent to $2.61 billion. Spending was $2.42 billion last year through April.
The figures do not include vehicle sales.
The breakdown of spending in and out of the city limits continues to be erratic.
In April, spending inside the city limits rose only 2 percent from a year ago while spending in the outer areas of the parish rose 18 percent, with each accounting for about 50 percent of the total.
Vehicle sales rose 16 percent in April from a year ago, and are up 13 percent for the year.
As for sales tax collections, the city-parish took in $14.4 million in April, up 10 percent from the $13.1 million that month last year. For the year, collections are up 8 percent to $56.4 million.
The recent upswing in retail spending has been good news for the city-parish, which had to cut spending in 2009 and 2010 as tax collections fell 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.