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 a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state, and to keep businesses informed until it begins to steady and as it rebounds. Dashboards will be archived on brac.org/recovery.
Key takeaways from this week’s report are:
- While retail sales are down both statewide and in the Baton Rouge metro area, commercial/industrial sales are flat at the state level and up in our MSA, reflecting the high number of essential businesses still in operation;
- Hotel occupancy rates and revenues continue to struggle, with occupancy down 20% OTY for the month of March and 40% OTY for 3/22 to 3/28. Monthly OTY revenues were down 38% for the month, and 76% for the week;
- Traffic on I-110 was down 40.8% between the beginning and the end of the month. US Highway 61 Business saw a 40.9% decrease, and US 190 was down 43.2%;
- The region had 1,524 cases of COVID-19 through April 5, approximately 10% of the state’s total cases. However, several regional parishes have a high number of cases per capita;
- Capital Region parishes have seen large decreases in mobility related to retail and recreation. East Baton Rouge, the largest parish in the region, has seen a 48% decrease;
- The region has also seen a decrease in travel to work – Ascension and East Baton Rouge both saw a 34% decline.