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How Big-Ticket Purchases Impact Consumer Spending

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consumer spendingAccording to statistics from Chase bank’s Freedom card, Americans are increasing their purchase of big ticket items such as vehicles and housing.  Their data shows that home improvement purchases are up 4% as did other categories that point to a commitment to self-improvement.

Other interesting trends:

Craft store purchases increase 91% over the last year, while spending on books and sporting goods increased at single digit levels. Even spending on lessons and classes was up 3%, further indicating an increased interest in self improvement.

At the same time, purchases of gasoline, consumer electronics, and office supplies all decreased by 5-7% over the same period last year, and are down further over two years.

What does this mean?

One way to look at this data is that people are staying home more and working on improving their homes and their lives.  This is supported by the dramatic jump in craft store purchases and the modest decrease in gas purchases. Another way to interpret the decline in gasoline sales is the popularity of more fuel efficient vehicles combined with the recent moderation of gas prices.


As the economy continues to improve, credit card users remain cautious, but optimism is growing. Increased spending on both home and personal improvement project suggest that we may have finally turned a corner on our financial doldrums.

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist specializing in personal finance and travel and is recognized as an expert in credit cards. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites such as Wise Bread and Money Talks News. His work has been frequently carried on mainstream news outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo, Finance, and Business insider.

Jason lives in Denver Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

– has written 350 posts.

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