Americans are spending more money this year, especially on household necessities. According to a recent Gallup survey, consumer spending has increased for 45% of Americans in 2014.
Most of the spending increases are for essential items. Grocery shopping had the largest percentage of consumers spending more money this year (59%).
Other major increases in consumer spending included gasoline (58% increase), utility bills (45% increase) and healthcare (42% increase).
Spending on household items, phone bills, mortgage, rent, cable and home repair and maintenance all increased by more than 30% this year.
While consumers are spending more on the essentials this year, consumer spending on many leisure items has decreased.
Traveling and going out to eat had the largest drops in spending with 38% of Americans spending less money in these areas this year.
Other areas of spending that decreased in 2014 were electronics purchases (31% decrease), leisure pursuits (31% decrease) and clothing purchases (30% decrease).
The cost of internet was the most consistent from this year to last year with 57% of respondents spending the same amount.
More than 1,000 adults (18 years old and older) participated in this telephone survey. Polling took place from June 9-15, 2014.
The survey implies that increased spending on necessary household expenses coupled with many families still recovering from recession-related expenses has taken a toll on many Americans’ budgets.
It remains to be seen whether or not these spending patterns are typical. This is the first time that Gallup has measured consumer spending data in this manner.
Consumer spending has been higher during the last couple of years than it was from 2009-2011, Gallup’s report said.
Though travel spending is down year over year, 69% of Americans plan to travel this summer, according to a Gallup poll.