Thursday, September 01, 2016

Households Give Thumbs Up to Economy in 2015

The Feds may be uncertain about the direction of the economy, but Americans are giving it a thumbs up. The average household boosted its spending on a wide variety of products and services between 2014 and 2015, after adjusting for inflation. Many long-languishing discretionary categories (apparel, furniture, etc.) got a welcome infusion of cash, while some necessities (gasoline, electricity, etc.) eased their grip on the household budget...

Spending gains, 2014-15 (in 2015 dollars)
Furniture: 29.6%
New cars and trucks: 25.1%
Alcoholic beverages: 11.1%
Reading material: 10.5%
Women's clothes: 8.0%
Food away from home: 7.8%
Entertainment: 4.1%

Spending declines, 2014-15 (in 2015 dollars)
Gasoline: –15.4%
Drugs: –12.7%
Natural gas: –4.2%
Mortgage interest: –3.3%
Vehicle insurance: –3.1%
Electricity: –1.7%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

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