Breaking Down American Consumer Spending

It seems that the United States is often seen as unique in many different areas of life.  We tend to be far more violent than other nations and have an increasing disparity in wealth.  But where to we stand on consumerism?  While I I would have guessed that per capita spending in the U.S. is among the highest in the world (and, accordingly, our savings rates are among the lowest), it’s interesting to look at where that money is going.

A New York Times interactive page, What Your Global Neighbors are Buying, provides some interesting statistics.  Here’s a sample view of spending on “Clothing and Footwear”:


Without having drilled down into the statistics all that much, the only overall obvious conclusion is that we’re big spenders: In all areas, the United States has the highest per capita spending in every category.  While this might be a dream-come-true for marketing organizations, I wonder where it will leave us in the future.


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