Dec. 13, 2016 02:06 PM

2016 year-to-date retail sales have reached $4.7 billion, a 5.1 percent drop when compared with the first 10 months of 2015.

On the bright side, for the second month, month-to-month sales are up, according to figures from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. The $480 million in goods and services sold in October is 0.9 percent higher than sales in October 2015.

Year-to-date sales in the city of Scott are up 0.1 percent, but sales remain down in all other municipalities — ranging from 2.4 percent in Lafayette to 18.7 percent in Broussard. Sales are also down 16.8 percent in unincorporated areas of the parish.

Within the city of Lafayette, year-to-date sales in the services category show a 6.8 percent increase over 2015. Year-to-date sales in the food and general merchandise (e.g. hotel, leasing of tangible property, warehouses, and machine shops) categories have also increased over 2015 — 5.9 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. Sales were down in all other categories — ranging from 1.2 percent for apparel to 18.3 percent for building materials.

In a month-to-month comparison (October 2016 to October 2015) sales in all but two categories are up — ranging from 7.1 percent in apparel to 2 percent in furniture. Month-to-month sales are down in building materials (-4.1%) and miscellaneous goods/services (-2.0%). The lumber, building and contractors group includes a variety of subgroups, including oil well equipment; building material stores; chain stores, and electrical and specialty contractors.

“October sales continue to reflect modest increases connected to flood recovery — particularly sales in the building material stores subcategory, with an 18.6 percent increase. The city of Youngsville also saw another month with increased sales compared to 2015, with a jump of 24.7 percent,” says Gregg Gothreaux, LEDA's president and CEO. “Holiday sales should push total retail sales to $5.6 billion, which is comparable to 2011-2012 total sales.”

October hotel/motel receipts totaled $8.5 million, 7.1 percent higher than October 2015. Year-to-date hotel/motel receipts are essentially even with 2015 — down by 0.02 percent or $11,000.

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