Where Does the Money Go?

We’ve all read articles that refer to how much Americans spend on X, whatever “X” might be — $4 billion annually on bicycles, $9 billion on watches, $88 billion on gambling, etc.  Ever wonder where those numbers come from?  Well, whether they come to the journalist through an industry media flack or by the journalist’s own dive into the numbers, the ultimate source is probably the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Underlying Detail Table 2.4.6U, Real Personal Consumption Expenditures by Type of Product.

I hope to soon take a very detailed look at how our spending patterns and habits have changed over the course of the past several years given the economic downturn.  In the meantime, here’s a screen cap of that table, which always captures some very interesting data.   (Line 97 is always chock full of surprises and may, perhaps, correlate with Consumer Sentiment and/or Confidence.)

(There are approximately 118 million “Households” and 313 million people in the United States, for those who want to further tinker with the numbers.)

(Click through for ginormous)

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