- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Spending in East Baton Rouge Parish by consumers and businesses was basically unchanged in 2013 when compared with a year earlier.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1gURZEG ) Wednesday sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $8.02 billion in 2013, a 0.3 percent increase over the $8 billion spent in 2012.

Officials have said 2013 faced a difficult comparison, since the numbers for 2012 were buoyed by Baton Rouge hosting the U.S. Bowling Congress’ 2012 Open Championship Tournament, an event that was held over five months and attracted 70,200 bowlers and their guests from across the U.S.

A strong December helped push 2013 numbers. For the month, spending was up 4.1 to nearly $793.3 million.


That was the best month of the year in terms of total sales and the second best month in terms of outstripping the 2012 performance. Only September, when sales were up nearly 4.6 percent, was better.

Sales were up in all categories in December, including retail trade and food stores, which accounts for 57 percent of all collections in the parish.

That category posted a nearly 1.3 percent gain over December 2012.

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

Vehicle sales were up 12.4 percent for the year, topping out at just over $54 million.

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