Ringing Registers

Lafayette Parish retail sales break 5-month growth streak February sales dip 6 percent from February a year ago.

February sales dip 6 percent from February a year ago.

Shoppers peruse the jewelry selection at Little Town in the Oil Center.
Photo by Robin May

Despite the downturn in the local oil and gas industry, Lafayette Parish retail sales over the past five months were beating the comparable months from a year earlier, but that streak was interrupted by a 5.8 percent decline for February 2017 vs. February 2016. Sales fell from $438 million to $413 million.

The 2017 year-to-date sales of $863 million represent a 1.6 percent or $14 million decline when compared with the same period in 2016, according to figures tracked by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

Year-to-date sales are up in the city of Lafayette (0.7%), Youngsville (19.1%), Duson (14.1%) and Scott (3.5%). Sales are even in Carencro and down in Broussard (3.9%). Sales were also down 9.5 percent in unincorporated areas of the parish.

Within the city of Lafayette, sales are up in the food, auto, and building materials categories — ranging from 5.4 percent in food to 30.3 percent in building materials. Sales were down in apparel, general merchandise, furniture, services and miscellaneous — ranging from 0.1 percent in services to 13.4 percent in apparel.

“Retail sales is a current indicator — one that changes at the same time as the overall economy,” says Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of LEDA. “As the year progresses, retail sales along with the other leading and current indicators LEDA tracks will provide us with a clearer picture of where the economy is headed.”

Hotel/motel receipts have also dipped. Receipts totaled $6.6 million, 1.3 percent lower than February 2106.

Take a deeper dive into the state of the local economy with One Acadiana's just-released "Economic Vitals" for April.