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October 28, 2011

Economic Slowdown and Consumer Spending in US

AMERICANS are spending less on clothes and eating out and more on household fuel bills and healthcare, according to data from the Bureau of Labour StatisticAccording to Economist data Average prices over this period have risen by 5.2%, so real consumer spending has fallen by almost 8%. This chart above show how an average US spends in 2011 during economic slowdown. 

During the good times of 2003-06 consumer spending rose by 8.2%. In that time, Americans boozed more and bought more cushions: spending on alcohol and household furnishings increased by 19% and 13% respectively.


Now compare this with 2008  US spending patterns, this graphic from The New York Times resembles something of a stained glass window created by  Amanda Cox, with Matthew Bloch and Shan Carter, designed the interactive graphic that lets you explore how American consumers spend their money.The original graphic  can be found  in 2008 Nytimes Interactive During 2008 did you know that Americans spent more on cheese (0.3%) than on computers (0.2%)?

Between 2007 and 2010, average annual consumer spending per unit—defined as a family/shared household or single/financially independent person—fell by 3.1% to $48,109.

The recession and economic slowdown have reduced buying power and consumers are tightening their belts in many ways, though spending on women’s clothes (and belts) fares slightly better than men’s. There are some positive health effects to be gleaned from the data.
  • Real spending on tobacco products fell by 23%, probably because the price of a nicotine fix has risen by 46% between 2007 and 2010. 
  • people are spending more on fruit and vegetables (up by 9%) and less on sugar and sweets (down by 6.5%).
  • During the good times of 2003-06 consumer spending rose by 8.2%. In that time, Americans boozed more and bought more cushions: spending on alcohol and household furnishings increased by 19% and 13% respectively. Contrast that with 2007-10 when spending on these items fell by over 16%