BRAC’s May 19 COVID-19 Brief: BRAC’s Weekly Economic Indicator Dashboard

BRAC is producing a weekly 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 takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:

  • New data on consumer spending indicate that through the month of April, the region’s largest parishes saw a significant drop in spending, although it has begun to trend upwards;
  • Small business employment data indicate that hourly employment at these establishments is down over 50 percent in East Baton Rouge and Livingston;
  • While retail vehicle fuel sales at gas stations continue to lag 2019 sales over the year, they are increasing week-by-week as parts of the economy have reopened;
  • Initial unemployment claims for the Capital Region for the week ending May 9 were the lowest in two months, though still 20-25 times higher than the normal pre-pandemic week;
  • Hotel occupancy continues to rise, coinciding with increased travel to the region because of legislative session.

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