But I also wonder whether the incessant public drumbeating about "fat Americans" and obesity is helping propel the decline in food consumption. The easiest way to save is to spend less on things you know you shouldn't be consuming anyhow, like too much food.
No. 3, clothing, is down only $18 billion.
Mandel's findings make sense to me. Cars are expensive, so even a small cutback in the total number of vehicles purchased could represent the large decline. And, at least for me, I buy clothes only when I really need them, so I don't have much room to cut there.
Food, however, is an everyday expense, one that you feel the pinch on each time you fill your cart. And since we do often eat more than we really need, it's an obvious place to save. Does this jibe with what's going on in your household? [via Sullivan]