BRAC’s economic indicators show ‘broken-record’ recovery 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today released its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. 

“The best way to describe what the Capital Region economy is going through is a ‘broken-record recovery.’ Week after week there is continued incremental improvement in unemployment and jobs, and ongoing stability just below pre-COVID numbers in consumer spending, hotel occupancy, and other similar metrics,” says  Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC, in a prepared statement. “Barring external forces, such as renewed restrictions or the arrival of a COVID vaccine, the pace of recovery is more or less static. A full recovery is practically impossible until consumer behavior returns to relative normality, and an effective vaccine is the best way to speed that eventuality along.”

Key findings from this week’s dashboard include: 

• Weekly unemployment claims dropped for the 16th straight week, and have fallen 71% over that timeframe. 

• Consumer spending is slightly down from January in Livingston, Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes. 

• Hotel occupancy and revenues dropped marginally both over-the-week and over-the-year as the travel sector’s struggles continue. 

• Overall mobility was mostly flat, although a majority of Capital Region parishes saw a small dip in travel to work. See the dashboard here.