Personal consumption expenditures on consumer goods surpassed $10 trillion in the US last year for the first time, estimates Mintel in nearly-released data, and is forecast to exceed $12 billion by 2018. Beyond essentials such as housing ($2.1 trillion) and transportation ($1.2 trillion), Americans are also spending significant amounts on tech and communications, and are forecast to considerably increase their spending on non-essentials such as travel and entertainment.
Those increases will be partly due to Americans becoming more “spend-centered,” according to the researchers, but also will be the result of a huge number of relatively well-to-do Baby Boomers reaching retirement and spending on non-essential items.
As such, the categories that Mintel expects to see the fastest growth in spending between 2013 and 2018 will be:
- Leisure and entertainment (+28.5%);
- Vacations and tourism (+27.3%);
- Technology and communications (+25.2%); and
- Alcohol on premises (+23.7%).
Each of those will outstrip the 20% growth in consumer goods spending overall.
The technology and communications category was the largest spending category outside of housing and transportation last year. Indeed, Americans spent almost $662 billion on this category, which includes popular consumer electronics products as well as pay-TV services, among others.
That was more than was spent on personal finance ($580 billion), food at home ($557.3 billion), dining out ($451.3 billion), home and garden ($413.5 billion), and leisure and entertainment ($335.8 billion).