The August 16, 2011 issue of TIME magazine Economy section has a great infographic describing changes in consumer spending between between 2007 and now. Why 2007? That year preceded the so-called “Great Recession.”
The category with the biggest loss of consumer spending is postal and delivery services which dropped 28%. Other more obvious categories with drops in consumer spending are not surprising: Clothing repair and alteration (-19%), tobacco (-16%) and new automobiles (-12%).
So, what was the big “winner” in terms of increase in consumer spending between 2007 and now? Cell phone services are up 31%. No other category is even close with “foreign travel in the U.S.” up 17% and lotteries up 16%.
While wireless carriers data indicates growth is slowing. It is clear that we are spending a lot more on wireless voice and data than we were just a few years ago. And, with the trend to reduce the monthly data quota down to 1 to 2 GB per month for the typical plan, we are spending more for less.