Lafayette, LA— With more than $607 million in sales in December, 2019 taxable sales reached $6.34 billion— the second highest on record. The previous retail sales record was set in 2014 when sales topped $6.4 billion. Sales ended the year up 4.83% from 2018 and up 9.03% from 2017. The past twelve months have seen over-the-year increases.

“Holiday shopping met LEDA’s forecast of $1.1 billion which is an encouraging sign for continued upward momentum. Taxable sales have increased each year since 2015,” says Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

Total taxable sales are up 3.89% in the City of Lafayette and 15.55% in unincorporated areas of the parish. Sales are also up in neighboring municipalities— Broussard (1.57%), Carencro (13.59%), Scott (2.64%), and Youngsville (6.15%). Sales in Duson are down 11.41%

Within the City of Lafayette, year-end sales were up in the food, general merchandise, auto, furniture, building materials, services, and miscellaneous/other categories— ranging from 18.01% to 0.11%. Apparel was down 1.81%

“As we start a new year, it’s important to remember that shopping in local stores keeps sales tax revenue in our community to support schools, jobs, roads and safety. Strong retail and service industries have played a key role in stabilizing Lafayette’s economy the past four years,” says Gothreaux.

Hotel-Motel receipts in December totaled $5,010,675— 0.65% higher than December 2018. Total 2019 Hotel-Motel receipts are 4.38% higher than 2018.

Sales tax collection numbers are gathered by the Lafayette Parish School System.

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL