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Americans Give Thumbs Up to the Economy in 2015

Friday, September 9, 2016

From Demo Memo

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, according to a Demo Memo analysis of the “Consumer Expenditure Survey.” Many long-languishing discretionary categories (apparel, furniture) got a welcome infusion of cash, while some necessities (gasoline, electricity) 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%

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