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Fewer Corks Popping With Rising Economy

Althea Chang
Big Data Download
Fewer Corks Popping With Rising Economy

Consumers are spending less on alcohol than they were at the beginning of the recovery, but more on personal care and gifts, according to recent data.

Both households earning $100,000 to $150,000 a year and those earning up to $25,000 spent less on alcohol, according to the Intuit Consumer Spending Index.

Comparing January through April 2013 with the same period in 2010, higher earners’ outlays for booze was down 1.5 percent, while lower earners’ spending for festive beverages dropped 6 percent.

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In the same period, spending on groceries was flat among higher-income households, while the less affluent spent 9 percent more at the supermarket.

Meanwhile, spending on personal care items rose for both income categories: 50 percent more for higher earners and 35 more for lower.

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"We've seen ... increases in spending on premium goods, and this is true across categories. So anything from groceries to vehicle spending," said Intuit data scientist Scott R. Baker on "Big Data Download." "The other thing we've seen come rocketing from the recession is charitable giving, especially among high-income households," Baker said.

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Intuit gathers data on more than 2 million users who volunteer to provide demographic information on its Mint.com budgeting tool which aggregates credit and debit card spending data.

Lower-income people currently spend 43 percent more on public transportation than those who make between $100,000 to $150,000. However they spend 58 percent less on housing, 48 percent less on vehicles, 44 percent less on clothing and 35 percent less at restaurants, according to Intuit's data.

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