As part of BRAC’s business recovery priorities, we will be producing and distributing a weekly economic indicator dashboard to examine and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy. The indicator dashboard takes into account fuel sales, oil prices, hotel occupancy rates, enplanements, employment, and more, to illustrate the economy’s current state, and keep businesses informed on when it begins to steady and rebound. Dashboards will be archived on brac.org/recovery.
Key takeaways from this week’s report are:
- Daily fuel sales in Baton Rouge were down year over year by 26% or more from March 19th through the 22nd;
- There were 17,290 new unemployment claims in the Capital Region from March 15th through the 25th, meaning unemployment may have nearly doubled;
- Hotel occupancy rates were nearly cut in half over the year for the week of March 19th through the 25th, falling from 63% in 2019 to 32% in 2020;
- Fuel prices, which play a major role in state revenues, fell from $58.15 per barrel in March 2019 to $32.57 per barrel in March 2020; and
- The Capital Region has a high number of residents in “essential” jobs, meaning that many businesses are still open, which could allow the virus to further spread, but also may insulate the region from as drastic an economic shock as other areas.