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Key Findings Details

The Effects of the Financial Crisis on Actual and Anticipated Consumption
Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder
WP 2011-255

  • Among 50-65 year olds, household-level spending declines attributable to the recession ranged between 3.5 percent and 7.0 percent.
  • For those over the age of 65, the spending declines were smaller, about 2.4%.
  • In both age groups, stock owners experienced larger spending declines than those not owning stocks.
  • The declines were concentrated in big ticket items (-7.3 percentage points), dining out (-15.9 percentage points), and housing (-8.5 percentage points). 
  • Older households (age 66+) showed greater spending declines in food eaten at home, clothing, and household supplies and services than those age 50-65. However, the older age group increased donations and gifts, unlike the younger age group (+12% vs. -2.0%), possibly because of the need to help support younger family members.