New York City

Study: New Yorkers cut spending slightly during recession

August 7, 2014 By George M. Walsh Associated Press
Consumer spending decreased slightly in New York during the recession, according to a study.
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ALBANY— New federal government statistics show consumer spending in New York stuttered only slightly at the end of the Great Recession after more than a decade of year-over-year gains and rebounded after 2009, according to new federal government statistics released Thursday.

The preliminary U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis numbers show there was a drop of less than 1 percent in spending per person from 2008 to 2009, compared to a decline of 2.5 percent nationally. From 2010 through 2012, the last year with available statistics, spending increased a total of 12 percent, close to the 10.7 percent national average.

The data show steady increases in spending per capita from $22,490 in 1997 to $37,764 in 2008 before dipping to $37,487 in 2009. That number was $42,043 in 2012.

The detailed statistics show New Yorkers cut back on buying durable goods during the recession, not services.

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Spending on motor vehicles and parts plunged 16.6 percent from 2007 to 2009 before recovering 26 percent by the end of 2012. Purchases of home furnishings and appliances dropped 9.5 percent over the same time, and had recovered 17 percent.

Consumption of services increased 6.8 percent from 2007 through 2009, led by growing spending on housing, utilities and health care. Spending on services continued to grow through 2012.

The numbers aren’t adjusted for inflation, which grew 43 percent nationally from 1997 through 2012, so they reflect higher costs for many goods and services. Another consideration is the volatility of a commodity like gasoline, which fell dramatically in price during 2008 and 2009.

Nationally, growth was slowest in states hit hardest by the housing collapse and strongest in states with strong oil and gas drilling economies.

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