Workplace mobility down; vehicle fuel sales, consumer spending, small business openings up
Baton Rouge, La. (August 4, 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.
“The Capital Region’s economic diversity has staved off the volatility seen in other markets,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “The region and state being hot spots nationally for the virus has suppressed workplace mobility and hotel occupancy; however, vehicle fuel sales, consumer spending, and the number of small businesses reported as open are improving. Until the prevalence of the virus is reduced, the economy will essentially be stuck at current levels.”
Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:
- Consumer spending has normalized at near pre-pandemic levels in the weeks running up to the expiration of federal unemployment enhancement;
- Fuel sales were down over-the-year both in the region and statewide, although regional retail fuel sales continue to trend toward 2019 numbers;
- Residential mobility was almost uniformly down across the Capital Region for the week ending July 27, as cases spiked;
- Unemployment claims stabilized in the weeks following bar closures with around 20 times the pre-pandemic number of combined weekly claims;
- As cases spiked and states put travel restrictions on Louisiana, hotel occupancy stagnated at 50%, notably below 2019 rates for the same time last year.
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.