ONCE A CONSUMER NATION, ALWAYS A CONSUMER NATION


As long as the U.S. Department of Commerce, under the Bureau of Economic Analysis, has tracked the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), consumer spending has been the very underpinning of the economy. Consumers' insatiable appetite to buy has contributed between 60 and 70 percent of the GDP since 1929, with only a slight downturn to about 50 percent during the war years of the 1940s. In 1929, 1930, and 1940, personal consumption as a percentage of GDP topped 70 percent, demonstrating the long-standing foundational role consumer spending has played in the American economy, as displayed in Figure 1.1.

YEAR

GDP

PERSONAL CONSUMPTION

PERCENT OF TOTAL ECONOMY

1929

$ 103.7

$ 77.5

74.7%

1930

91.3

70.2

76.9

1940

101.3

71.2

70.3

1950

294.3

192.7

65.5

1960

527.4

332.3

63.0

1970

1039.7

648.9

62.4

1980

2795.6

1762.9

63.1

1990

5803.2

3831.5

66.0

1995

7397.7

4975.8

67.3

1996

7816.9

5256.8

67.2

1997

8304.3

5547.4

66.8

1998

8747.0

5879.5

67.2

1999

9268.4

6282.5

67.8

2000

9817.0

6739.4

68.7

2001

10100.8

7045.4

69.8

2002

10480.8

7358.3

70.5

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis


Figure 1.1: Personal Consumption Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP (in billions)




Why People Buy Things They Don't Need. Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
Why People Buy Things They Dont Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
ISBN: 0793186021
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 137

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