Data continues to trend toward stabilization of regional economy
Baton Rouge, La. (May 26, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
The week’s dashboard reveals that nearly all indicators are trending in a positive direction, with increases in consumer spending and greater retail and recreation mobility mirroring the entry into Phase One, and the corresponding limited opening of restaurants and non-essential businesses.
“In a poll conducted by the Business Report on April 30, consumer demand was the second most cited hurdle for businesses getting back to work, just behind employee safety,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “The increase in consumer spending should be a welcome signal for the region’s business community that stabilization is indeed returning.”
Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:
- Consumer spending was up over the week across the Capital Region’s three largest parishes, and in Ascension it is back to pre-pandemic levels;
- Hourly employment at small businesses was up slightly across the same parishes, but has not rebounded to the extent other indicators have;
- The number of initial unemployment claims dropped for the fourth consecutive week, and are down more than 70% from the high week in April;
- Hotel occupancy rate has risen for the fifth consecutive week, likely due to legislative session and greater essential work travel as the economy reopens.
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.
Data related to vehicle fuel sales was not available at the time of publication. That information will be added when possible.
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.