BRAC’s May 5 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 until it begins to steady and as it rebounds. Past dashboards are archived on


Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:

  • Commercial/Industrial fuel sales in the Capital Region, which had been steady over-the-year, dropped by 38% compared to 2019 in a comparable week, while retail sales continue to lag 2019 numbers by nearly 30%;
  • Hotel revenues for the last week were only 1/3 of what they were in 2019 while occupancy was about 50% lower than last year;
  • CATS ridership is significantly down, and continues to be lower as the pandemic continues. For the week ending April 25, ridership is down 56% over the year;
  • While March saw traffic counts on various Capital Region highways static or up, April saw a deep decline, including 37% fewer drivers on I-110 than in March;
  • There was an over-the-week drop in initial unemployment claims of 27% in the Baton Rouge metro area, but the weekly claims were still about 40 times greater than a normal pre-pandemic week.

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