Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Long Term Consumer Trends

Since the retail sales data released today by the census bureau was for December of last year we they give us an early picture of how the full year shaped up.  For all of 2012 retail sales were up a respectable 5.2%.  The auto category led the way, up 7.9%, while consumer electronics actually fell 0.8%.  Current dollar retail sales hit another all time high at $4.89T.

Taking a longer term view, below is a table showing the evolution of consumer wallet share since 1992.  Over the last 20 years Americans are spending a smaller percentage of their retail dollars on cars and at grocery stores and more at gas stations, drug stores, restaurants and online.

Percentage of Total US Retail Sales Spent on Category

Retail Sales Consumer Spending Habits

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