I linked to an article about US spending the other day. Since then, I keep seeing a variety of telling charts about the changes in US consumer spending habits.

These are my 6 favorites:


High Income Spending Splurge

Source: Bundle


Spending Habits: Wealth, Age Group cohorts

Source: Econompicdata


Changes in Spending by Sector, 2008-10


Upper-Income Spending Surges 33%

Source: Gallup

Household Spending by Category

Source: Bundle.com

Gallup Daily: U.S. Consumer Spending

Results reported in both a 3-day and 14-day rolling average

Source: Gallup

Category: Consumer Spending

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

12 Responses to “U.S. Consumer Spending ChartFest”

  1. Abhishek says:

    Rising income disparity continues its relentless march.It can continue for a long while till the whole thing comes down due to social acrimony

  2. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    The rich are seeing some bargains so why not spend if you have it. On my ride back from Florida for the summer, the interstates were full of 18 wheelers, but half of them were empty. Probably because the dispatcher couldn’t get them filled for the return trip. My guess is that 90% is one time inventory build.

  3. franklin411 says:

    I can’t speak about empty big rigs, but an article in the LA Times last week noted that Long Beach and San Pedro port volumes came in at the second strongest month on record. One of the positive data point they cited was that the traffic of outbound empty freighters was soaring, which meant that demand is so strong in the US that shippers are taking freighters out of mothballs and putting them back to work.

  4. call me ahab says:

    home improvement and maintenance would have to go down- why bother with that when you are not paying your mortgage and waiting for the bank to kick you out?

    leaves a few bucks left over for that “general shopping” category

  5. NoKidding says:

    Those charts would be more relevant to recovery talk if they started in 2006.

  6. Dow says:

    If I were rich, I’d be mighty worried about that chart.

  7. Robespierre says:

    You have to love those charts. They clearly show who has benefit from tax payer based bailouts. For the rest there is always cake – Change you can believe in….

  8. Simon says:

    The US consumer has to spend. How else can China and also Europe soon maintain their surpluses?

  9. oldhillbilly says:

    In reference to the comment “I can’t speak about empty big rigs, but an article in the LA Times last week noted that Long Beach and San Pedro port volumes came in at the second strongest month on record.”

    I cannot for the life of me see where this claim comes from. Anyone interested can look at the monthly reports for TEU’s at the LA port here. Compare May 2010 stats, empty or full, to just about any month in 2007. I track LA, Long Beach and NY/NJ every month and things are on the upswing, but like the monthly railroad numbers, they aren’t anywhere close to record levels.


    Seems to me a few years back that the flood of empty Chinese containers sitting around was making a lot of news, being turned into houses, because they were cheaper and stronger than wood homes. Now we are sending them back to China. Is it bullish news – or has the housing market gotten so bad we don’t need them anymore? Sheesh – maybe it’s gotten so bad the hard core survivalist’s have given up burying them in their back yard’s!!

  10. jjay says:

    How are Fabrege Egg sales going?
    I hear the Romanov family bought a bunch just before the end.
    Might be a good sign the top is in for the elites.
    Or maybe not.
    Too soon to tell.

  11. michaelismoe says:

    Using these charts as justification, since the wealthy have so much disposible income, why not tax the shit out of them?

  12. ellsworth says:

    I am definitely not in the “wealthy” category, but still, I cannot understand the perspective of “taxing the shit” out of people who do fall into that category.

    Whether people got there through luck (winning the lottery), hard work (starting/growing a business), or some combination like inheritance (benefiting from someone else’s luck or hard work)…if we have a system of heavily taxing wealthy individuals and redistributing the $$ to the non-wealthy, we lose the incentive for people to work hard (i.e. start/grow businesses) or get lucky (play the lottery).

    Thanks, but I’d rather lean toward the capitalistic economy with low government intervention. If you prefer something more socialist, try Cuba, North Korea, Laos, or China.