BRAC’s August 18 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC produces an economic indicator dashboard as part of our business recovery priorities. The dashboard examines and assesses the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy, taking into account a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state, and to keep businesses informed as it begins to steady and rebound. Past dashboards are archived on


Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:

  • Consumer spending is relatively flat in Ascension and Livingston, but has dropped sharply in East Baton Rouge since the closure of bars and expiration of federal unemployment enhancement. The bar closure also corresponds with a drop in small businesses open in each parish;
  • Retail fuel sales are slightly down over the week and year, but the trendline continues to indicate a movement toward consistent numbers in line with 2019 sales; 
  • Total weekly unemployment claims fell 8% to their lowest number since the week of April 4, but there were still over 51,000 jobless claims;
  • Hotel occupancy continues to be a strength, as its 54% rate is higher than the corresponding week in 2019 (49%) for the first time since the pandemic began.
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