EBR retail spending rises 2% in April EBR retail spending rises 2% in April BY CHAD CALDER| Advocate business writer June 18, 2013 Comments Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose 2 percent in April, the first time since a basically flat January that the economic indicator saw positive territory. Spending is still down 1 percent for the year, however, at $2.59 billion, according to figures from the city-parish Finance Department. April saw $675.0 million in spending, getting a lift from the retail trade sector, which rose 3 percent and makes up a full half of the total figure. Food services and drinking places, which makes up 10 percent of the total, saw a healthy gain of 10 percent. On the negative side, manufacturing, which makes up 12 percent of the total, fell 17 percent. Spending inside the city limits recovered in April, the first time it’s been positive all year, rising 7 percent. In the outlying parts of the parish, spending fell 4 percent. For the first four months of the year, spending is down 1.5 percent inside the city limits and is flat outside. Vehicle sales, which are not included in the totals, continued to perform well, rising 15 percent compared to April 2012. Total tax collections by the city-parish were up 3 percent in April to $14.8 million but are up just 0.3 percent for the year at $56.6 million.