Retail sales in Lafayette Parish continue their record pace this year, with July sales of $487 million up only 1 percent over July 2012 — but enough to set a new high.

Year to date taxable sales, which total $3.45 billion, are tracking 3.5 percent higher than the first seven months of 2012.

Impressively, all categories are up over last year, which set a record at $5.7 billion. The following is year-to-date performance of each retail category compared to 2012:

• Food – up 4.2%
• Apparel – up 1.5%
• General Merchandise – up 2.4%
• Auto – up 10%
• Furniture – up 9.1%
• Building Materials – up 1.1%
• Services – up 5.7%
• Other – up 17.8%

retail_sales_july_2013_-3According to analysis of the figures by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, auto and furniture are the real standouts; when big-ticket items like vehicles and furniture are being purchased, LEDA points out, it’s a strong sign that consumer confidence is on the rise.  

LEDA also noted that hotel-motel receipts are 4.4 percent higher than last year, with July receipts totaling $6.6 million, a strong 12.5 percent more than July 2012.

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