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 brac.org/recovery.
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.