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How Much Americans Spend on Shopping

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How Americans spend their money while shopping

Americans spend money on every conceivable industry available. The top five online retail categories are: jewelry and watches, consumer electronics, event tickets, computer hardware and books and magazines.

Holiday Spending

Spending is always higher during the holiday season, with many companies only reaching their yearly profits during this time.

In 2009, the average person spent $417, a change of -3 percent with 36 percent making purchases from catalogs, and 42 percent of people made purchases from the Internet. Here’s how the previous years stacked up:

2008 — Average spending $431, -50% change, 43% bought from catalogs, 30% bought online

2007 — Average spending $859, -5%, 51% bought from catalogs, 36% bought online

2006 — Average spending $907, -4%, 50% bought from catalogs, 44% bought online

2005 — Average spending $942, -6%, 47% bought from catalogs, 43% bought online

2004 — Average spending $1,004, +3% 47% bought from catalogs, 37% bought online

2003 — Average spending $976, -6%, 42% bought from catalogs, 29% bought online

2002 — Average spending $1,037, -2%, 40% bought from catalogs, 39% bought online

2001 — Average spending $1,052, +9%. 40% bought from catalogs, 39% bought online

2000 — Average spending $968, +3%, 50% bought from catalogs, 24% bought online

1999 — Average spending $939, +1%, 51% bought from catalogs, 26% bought online

Household Spending in March 2010

In March of 2010, the average American household spent significantly on health and family, travel and leisure, getting around, food and drink and on shopping in general.

Shopping

Households spent $508 on general shopping, $152 on clothing, shoes and other wear and $52 on electronics.

Food and Drink

Households spent $245 on dining out and $338 on groceries.

Getting Around

Auto expenses averaged $295, $191 was spent on gas, $197 was spent on house and home utilities, $233 was spent on home improvement, $95 was spent on phone bills and $53 was spent on home maintenance.

Health and Family

Households spent an average of $301 on insurance, $117 was spent on school and child care, $112 was spent on $112, $83 was spent on charity, $63 was spent on personal care and $48 was spent on pets.

Travel and Leisure

Households spent an average of $142 on travel, $52 on entertainment and $51 was spent on cable/satellite service.

Who’'s Up? Who’'s Down?

From January to March 2010, general shopping was up 10.6 percent and entertainment was up 11.5 percent vs. 2009 spending. Office supply spending was down by 22.6 percent and home improvement and maintenance spending was down 4.3 percent. In March 2010, charity spending was up 16.9 percent vs. 2009. Gas spending was down 5 percent vs. 2009. On average, U.S. household spending rose 6.5 percent.

Selected Personal Consumption Expenditures

As of April 2010, the 24-month change in spending along specific personal consumption categories was as follows:

  • Health Care: 8.9%
  • Pharma: 7.7%
  • Lotteries: 5.7%
  • Communication: 5.2%
  • Groceries: 3.4%
  • Clothing and Footwear: -1.1%
  • Air Fares: -3.6%
  • Televisions: -4.2%
  • Audio Equipment: -5.6%
  • Furniture: -6.0%
  • Casinos: -6.5%
  • Autos and Parts: -7.4%
  • Hotel/Motel (Holiday Inn): -11.5%
  • Motorcycles: -13.8%