African-Americans and Hispanics Combine For One-Fifth of Estimated National Discretionary Spending

Experian-National-Discretionary-Spending-Trends-Apr2014Together, African-Americans (9%) and Hispanics (11.3%) combined to account for one-fifth of national discretionary spending during the Fall of 2013, according to new data from Experian Marketing Services’s Fall 2013 National Consumer Study. That represents a substantial gain from recent years, as they had not exceeded a combined 18% of the estimate during either of the 3 prior years of Fall surveys. Each group saw similarly-sized increases.

The total discretionary spending estimate for Fall 2013 was roughly $1.5 trillion. That was below the Summer’s estimate of $1.77 trillion, but up slightly from the Fall of 2012.

Of that $1.5 trillion, African-Americans accounted for more than $157 billion. That represented a significant hike from less than $137 billion the year prior, as their share of total spend rose from 7.8% to 9%.

Hispanics, the larger group by population share, totaled an estimated $197 billion in discretionary spending, up from $174.4 billion the prior year, as their share of the total grew from 10% to 11.3%.

The share of discretionary spending for both African-American and Hispanic households continued to trail their population share, as median incomes for both groups remain well below the rest of the population.

Overall, the average amount of discretionary spending per household stood at $14,791 in the Fall of 2013. Hispanics ($11,973) and African-Americans ($10,517) trailed the average but saw their highest levels for the Fall going back at least as far as 2010.