New federal stimulus expected to give consumer spending a shot in the arm
Baton Rouge, La. (December 22, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its last COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard of the year. The dashboard examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy, and is available online at brac.org/recovery.
“As we finish out the year, it’s important to acknowledge the recovery that has occurred even as the virus continues to spread in the region and state,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “At the height of the pandemic, we had nearly 65,000 weekly unemployment claims in the Capital Region, and we are now down below 12,000. Consumer spending has stabilized in most parishes because of the relative stability in the job market. The more we follow best practices in social distancing through the holiday season, the less ground we will have to make up once the vaccine is widely distributed.”
Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:
- Unemployment claims fell again, this time to 11,978 initial and continued claims for the week;
- While consumer spending is down slightly in East Baton Rouge, it is up in Ascension and Livingston, and there is hope that the new federal stimulus will boost spending across the region;
- Hotel occupancy remains low as federal and state guidance advises against holiday travel; and
- Mobility remained relatively static except for retail and recreation travel, which saw an uptick in most parishes.
To download this week’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
This is BRAC’s last dashboard of the year. In 2021, the dashboard will transition to a monthly format, with the first being released in late January.
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.
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.