Last Modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:35 PM
The 10.9 percent increase in taxable sales over the last 12 months indicates the Calcasieu Parish economy is robust, said Rufus Fruge, director of the parish sales tax office.
“While the rest of the country has been in a recession we have been faring rather well in Calcasieu Parish,” he said. “There are more good things in store.”
Seven of the 11 categories showed increased activity: food, apparel, merchandise, furniture, manufacturing, miscellaneous (bookstores, tobacco shops, funeral homes) and motor vehicles.
Manufacturing, which includes expenditures at refineries, had the most significant increase at 43 percent.
“During the recessionary periods the manufacturing companies were not spending money on additional equipment or supplies,” Fruge said. “The current reports tend to reflect they are now making those expenditures.”
Fruge said the numbers show the recession had a greater impact this time last year than now.
The category of motor vehicles, which also includes the purchase of mobile homes, increased by 15.3 percent.
“People have more disposable income to buy durable products — like cars or mobile homes,” Fruge said. “There was a time last year when there was no increase in motor vehicle sales and other months that showed an actual decrease.”
The four categories that showed decreases for the period were automotive, building materials, miscellaneous services (hotels, hospitals, rentals) and utilities.
“The declining categories were not significant to actually pinpoint an actual cause for the decreases,” Fruge said.
These reports are released monthly.