What Americans are buying

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The U.S. Census Bureau has published its 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States. And it shows that times are definitely changing.

The report takes about ten months to compile, and Census Bureau employees spend their days searching for studies and statistics that give insight into how Americans spend their money.

Here are some of the more interesting statistics:
  • Sales of MP3 players in 2007 were $5.9 billion, compared to just $424 million in 2003
  • The number of cosmetic procedures on Americas doubled from 2000 to 2006; more than 11.4 million procedures were done in 2006
  • Online sales are still only a small fraction of retail sales, at 2.5% of the $3.7 trillion total
  • Dining out is the single largest leisure activity done by Americans, with 106 million adults eating in at least one restaurant during 2006

  • Beer consumption fell 12% between 1980 and 2005, with 21.3 gallons consumed per capita in 2005
  • Bottled water consumption has increased by nine times since 1980, with 25 gallons consumed per person
  • Prescription drug sales have increased 250% over the last ten years, with a total of $250 billion spent per year.
So as you spend your money, make sure you know that someone may be watching you and tallying your purchases for inclusion in the Statistical Abstract. Someone wants to know how you spent your hard earned money

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.
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