Hurricane Laura-related spending boosts Capital Region economy

Consumer spending rose in all three of the Capital Region’s largest parishes and has surpassed pre-pandemic spending in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes. 

That’s according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, which has been monitoring such figures as a part of its weekly COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. 

“While indicators concerning the Baton Rouge economy have been steadily improving over the last few weeks, this week includes data that indicates the region will also get a short-term shot in the arm from an increased number of visitors due to Hurricane Laura,” says Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC, in a prepared statement. “As recovery efforts continue, local hotels, restaurants, and retailers will benefit from the increased number of consumers in the metro area.”

Because of evacuees from the hurricane, local hotel occupancy was significantly higher year-over-year and over-the-week.  

Along with spending, mobility to workplaces and retail and recreation also increased last week. 

Unemployment claims continue to decrease, marking its sixth consecutive week of decline. 

See the full report.