BRAC dashboard shows continued improvement in local economy 

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

“The Capital Region recovery continued last week, with unemployment claims down and fuel sales, consumer spending, and hotel stays all rising,” says Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC in a prepared statement. “Given the news of an effective vaccine, there is now a realistic light at the end of the tunnel regarding a true reopening of the economy. Should residents continue to follow social distancing protocols until the vaccine is widely available, the recovery should continue and crescendo once there is a full reopening and consumer behavior reverts to pre-COVID levels.”

Key findings from this week’s dashboard include: 

• Unemployment claims dropped for the 15th straight week and are only one-third of what they were at their height last spring.
• Retail fuel sales continue to come in higher on a weekly basis than they were in 2019.
• Consumer spending remains at or above pre-pandemic levels in the three largest parishes in the region.
• Although hotel revenues for the last week were slightly lower than the same week last yaer, occupancy rates year to date are above 2019 numbers. See the full report.