Rockett: Understanding the numbers that matter

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Staying up to speed on what’s happening in our local market is an important part of planning for your business.  The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation (GBEDF) publishes a free monthly economic indicator report to help guide businesses in making informed decisions based on trends in the economy.  These local indicators help us to get an inside look into what’s happening in the business cycle.  The numbers tell us where we’ve been and where we may go. 

Sound data also helps our community to better tell its story.  Local indicators point to Bossier as a community of good health; our population is growing and the majority is employed, which means local consumers are spending money, and businesses are expanding.  Specifically, the GBEDF looks closely at priority indicators such as local retail spending, construction, employment, and tourism because they help us keep our finger on the pulse of the local economy. 

Both retail and construction are leading indicators, meaning they go with the direction of the economy and may predict economic cycles such as recessions.  The two are directly related to consumer confidence and consumer spending, which drives the economy by creating a demand for goods and services. 

Employment numbers can also help us see the current economic health of the community.  This indicator is considered lagging, in that it can take a few quarters to feel the effects of the fluctuation. 

Indicators linked to tourism and hospitality are also an important part of our local economic landscape.  For example, the health of tourism and the hospitality industry in our community can be measured by casino revenue and hotel motel tax revenue.  Streams of revenues from this sector are invested back into the community in the form of economic development initiatives.

Understanding these trends and applying them to the decision-making process can help businesses with their bottom line.  The GBEDF invites you to take a look at what’s trending in our MSA.  Archives of these free reports dating back from July 2015 can be downloaded directly from our website at www.gbedf.org

David “Rocky” Rockett is executive director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation