Spending on Food and Clothing at All-Time Low

by: Mark J. Perry

Using BEA data on annual expenditures for clothing and shoes (data), and annual disposable personal income (data), the chart above show spending on clothing as a percent of income from 1929 to 2007. From double-digit levels back in the 1930s and 1940s, average spending on clothing as percent of after-tax income was down to 3.68% in 2007.

The chart above shows spending on food and clothing as a percent of disposable personal income back to 1929, falling from more than 1/3 of personal income in the 1930s and 1940s to only 13.48% by 2007.

Bottom Line: The good old days are now, and it's nothing like the Great Depression. Nothing.