Spending in EBR rises 2.8 percent in October

Spending in East Baton Rouge Parish by consumers and businesses rose 2.8 percent in October from a year ago, the fourth month in a row that sales activity increased.

Sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent a Halloween-appropriate $666 million in October.

The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.

Spending outside the city limits, which includes the Mall of Louisiana and big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was up 3.7 percent in October to $310.3 million.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within the city limits was up 2.2 percent in October to nearly $355.9 million. This includes activity at Cortana Mall and on College Drive.

Vehicle sales were virtually unchanged in October from the year before, increasing 0.5 percent to nearly $59.3 million.

However, auto sales are up 12.8 percent through the first 10 months of the year.

For the first 10 months of 2013, spending in the parish, excluding vehicles, is up 0.1 percent to $6.58 billion.

Spending inside the city limits is up 0.6 percent at nearly $3.5 billion. Spending outside the city limits has fallen by about 0.4 percent to $3.08 billion.

Officials have said this year’s figures are competing against year-ago numbers that were buoyed by a national bowling tournament, which boosted key segments from February through July last year.

Tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 2.7 percent in October to $14.5 million. For the year, the city-parish has collected $143.7 million, up 1.1 percent.