Baton Rouge retail spending up 8 percent in Feb.
BATON ROUGE - Retail spending by businesses and consumers in East Baton Rouge Parish rose 8 percent in February, the strongest February in four years. That's according to figures from the city-parish Finance Department.
Based on sales tax collection figures, February had $626.8 million in total spending compared to $579.2 million that month last year. The totals do not include vehicle sales.
Retail spending has been on the upswing since last year, one of a handful of indicators that bodes well for the health of the local economy.
East Baton Rouge sales tax collections had dropped 6 percent in 2009 and 3 percent in 2010 before rebounding with a 4 percent gain for 2011.