American consumers have spent $130.6 trillion so far in 2017, a 2.7% increase compared to this point in 2016. Personal expenditure by U.S. consumers accounts for two-thirds of all spending in the United States and is the primary driver of economic growth.
As the U.S. economy experiences steady growth, consumer spending continues to rise. Spending on luxury goods such as yachts and private planes has risen over the past year, as well as on necessary expenses such as housing, food, and health care. Additionally, due to improvements in technology more Americans are able to afford televisions, internet access, and other consumer electronics. Changes in technology have also led some Americans to abandon certain outdated products and services altogether, as spending on postal services and video rentals declines to a fraction of what it was one decade ago.
To determine what Americans spent in 2017, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed real personal consumption expenditures from January to November 2017 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We chose 50 consumer categories that best represent what Americans spent in 2017, and how consumer spending patterns have changed from previous years. Money continues to circulate over the course of the year once it is spent. So it is important to note that while personal consumption is a good reflection of how Americans spend their money, it far outweighs the total value of goods and services in the economy.