BRAC releases new COVID-19 economic analysis

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The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today released an updated version of its COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the novel coronavirus on the regional economy.

The dashboard looks at fuel sales, oil prices, hotel occupancy rates, enplanements, and employment through data from a number of regional stakeholders.

“The data shows that Capital Region residents are taking the shelter-in-place order seriously, but that the region has a high number of essential workers,” says Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “For example, retail and recreation mobility is down 48% in East Baton Rouge Parish, but workplace mobility is down only 34%.”
Fitzgerald says it’s encouraging that travel has been limited to essential functions, and this trend may have contributed to the relatively moderate number of COVID-19 cases in the Baton Rouge metro area.

Key takeaways from the dashboard:
• While retail sales are down both statewide and in the Baton Rouge metro area, commercial/industrial sales are flat at the state level and up in our MSA, reflecting the high number of essential businesses still in operation.
• Hotel occupancy rates and revenues continue to struggle, with occupancy down 20% for March and 40% for March 22 to March 28. Monthly revenues were down 38% for the month, and 76% for the week.
• Traffic on I-110 was down 40.8% between the beginning and the end of the month. US Highway 61 Business saw a 40.9% decrease, and US 190 was down 43.2%;
• The region had 1,524 cases of COVID-19 through April 5, approximately 10% of the state’s total cases. However, several regional parishes have a high number of cases per capita.
• Capital Region parishes have seen large decreases in mobility related to retail and recreation. East Baton Rouge, the largest parish in the region, has seen a 48% decrease;
• The region has also seen a decrease in travel to work. Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes both saw a 34% decline.

See the dashboard here. 

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