- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 6.2 percent in February compared with a year ago.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/P4PW72 ) sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish Finance Department on Tuesday show businesses and consumers spent $636.4 million in February.

That compares with $599.1 million in spending in February 2013.

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

Sales were up in all categories, including food services and drinking establishments, which were up by 5.9 percent from the year before, and retailers, up by nearly 6.2 percent.

Spending outside the city limits, which includes the Mall of Louisiana and big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was up 6 percent in February to $290 million.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within the city limits was up nearly 6.4 percent in February to $346.3 million. This includes activity at Cortana Mall and on College Drive.

Vehicle sales were up 8.4 percent from the year before, topping $58 million for the month.

Tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up 6.4 percent in February to nearly $13.9 million.

For the first two months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, is running nearly 3 percent ahead of 2013’s pace, to reach nearly $1.24 billion.

Spending is up 5.6 percent in the city limits, at $671.5 million. The total is virtually unchanged outside the city limits, up .02 percent, at $566.9 million.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com