Consumer spending above pre-pandemic levels in the three largest Capital Region parishes
Baton Rouge, La. (November 24, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
“Aside from the higher initial weekly unemployment claims, all other indicators continue to point to a gradual recovery that will be complete once consumer behavior returns to relative normality,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “Strong consumer spending in the weeks leading into the holidays are a very strong sign. However, as restaurants and bars are forced to curtail the size and number of holiday parties, they will be foregoing a major annual revenue stream. The usual seasonal employment bump the Capital Region sees this time of year may not come to pass in the COIVD economy.”
Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:
- For the first week of November, consumer spending was above pre-pandemic levels in the three largest parishes in the Capital Region, indicating strong consumer confidence;
- Indicators such as hotel occupancy and fuel sales showed stability, remaining just below and just above 2019 numbers respectively;
- Weekly unemployment claims rose for the first time in 17 weeks; however, the jump was so pronounced and contrary to other data, that the claims number is being reviewed by the Louisiana Workforce Commission;
- While Professional Services, Government, Trade, Transportation, and Utility job counts are just below or at pre-pandemic levels, Leisure & Hospitality (-24.3%) and Construction (-12.3%) are still struggling, although Construction added 2,500 jobs over the month.
The dashboard looks at a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state. With data from a number of regional stakeholders, the dashboard is the most real-time analysis of the Baton Rouge metro economy available.
To download this week’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources and guidance related to COVID-19.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.