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June 02, 2006

Consumer spending trends

Each year the government collects information on what consumers are buying. Economist Mike Walden of N.C. State University highlights interesting findings from the latest survey.

"Spending on men’s suits and women’s dresses: that spending is way down," notes Dr. Walden, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. "This is, I think, ... indicative of the fact that we’ve been a little more casual ... in the workplace.

"Beer drinking -- spending on beer drinking, or beer -- is down, but spending on wine is way up. That’s probably a function of the baby boomers.

"We are spending a lot more, as you might expect, of our entertainment dollar at home on things like satellite TVs, big TVs and recorders.

"And we are reducing significantly our spending on movies at movie theaters. That’s a big problem for those movie theaters.

"Again, as you might expect, spending on cell phones has really gone up. That has more than doubled in just three years.

"And then in the most recent survey, we actually spent more on trucks and SUVs than we did on other types of vehicles. That was a first, but I think this is likely to change with higher gas prices."

Posted by deeshore at June 2, 2006 08:00 AM