Are We Saving or Spending?
This is a trick question. The answer is NEITHER. We cross-pollinated Retail Spending by 13 NAICS categories PER Household PER Month to answer two salient questions: HOW MUCH are we spending PER household? and WHAT are we spending PER household?
Total Monthly Retail Spending decreased $305 per household over the prior 12 months and “Health and Personal Care” is the ONLY major 3-digit NAICS category to realize positive year-over-year growth. Here is a snap-shot ranking of monthly retail spending per household from June 2008 to June 2009.
|R||YOY Change||3-Digit NAICS Category|
|01||Increased $6||Health and Personal Care|
|02||Decreased $2||Food Services and Drinking Places|
|03||Decreased $2||Sporting Goods, Hobby, Books, and Music|
|04||Decreased $3||Miscellaneous Retail (e.g. office supplies, stationery, gifts, novelty, souvenirs, used goods)|
|05||Decreased $4||Non-Store Retailers (e.g. electronic shopping and mail-order houses, fuel dealers)|
|06||Decreased $6||Food and Beverage|
|07||Decreased $9||Furniture & Home Furnishings|
|08||Decreased $10||Electronics & Appliances|
|09||Decreased $14||Clothing & Accessories|
|10||Decreased $24||General Merchandise (e.g. department stores, discount stores, warehouse clubs)|
|11||Decreased $26||Building Materials, Supplies, & Garden Equip|
|12||Decreased $79||Motor Vehicle & Parts|
Some Added Perspective on the Healthcare Debate…
Our vociferous debate on national healthcare is right on mark considering our increasing retail expenditures per household on healthcare. And the complexity of solving the US healthcare imbroglio is based on two seemingly opposing forces: 1) Demand for higher quality care PER PERSON; and 2) Demand for decreasing costs PER PERSON. However, we must all pose the question: Is healthcare where our energy and resources should be spent? Perhaps. Without your health, you’re either miserable or dead. However, allow me to throw FIVE proverbial monkey wrenches into our current healthcare deliberation by revealing HOW MUCH MORE we spend on the following categories in relation to Health and Personal Care:
• We spend 2.9 times more per month per household on Motor Vehicle & Parts
• We spend 2.3 times more per month per household on Food and Beverage
• We spend 2.2 times more per month per household on General Merchandise
• We spend 1.8 times more per month per household on Food Services and Drinking Places
• We spend 1.6 times more per month per household on Gasoline
So if we vote with our wallets, credit cards, and pocketbooks; then why aren’t we debating and spending MORE time and resources with regards to our investment and expenditures on transportation, automobiles, gasoline, entertainment, food, and drinking places? And why are several segments of our population so angry? Without diminishing the importance of the healthcare issues currently in debate, healthcare appears to be both a pent-up “psychological lightening rod” as well as a “psychological container” for a myriad of emotions, issues, ideologies, pathologies, prejudices, and beliefs in this country…many of which are completely unrelated to healthcare itself. And with this “collective projection” being acted-out at this very moment throughout our culture, hard facts and objective reality are tertiary at best. At CA, it is our hope that unvarnished facts, objective viewpoints, and high-minded logic find there way to the forefront of our deliberation…and are eventually used to support whatever decision is eventually made with respect to healthcare and the achievement of SEQOL (Significantly Enhancing Quality of Life). Perhaps this will be a subject we will tackle in a subsequent week. Of course, your thoughts and ideas are always welcome!
Monthly Retail Spending Per Household – United States of America
Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship. – Benjamin FranklinIllustration from visualeconomics.com