Pet spending holding up in U.S.

|By:, SA News Editor

Morningstar calls the pet industry "fairly" recession-proof as consumer spending has continued to grow in a mid-single digit rate to outpace broader retail trends.

Despite a general crowding-out effect from spending on autos and home improvements in many discretionary categories, the level of spending per pet has risen in the U.S. over the last year.

Though retail giants such as Wal-Mart (WMT +1.2%) and Target (TGT +0.9%) are significant players in the pet industry, it's PetSmart (PETM +0.5%) that stands to benefit the most despite its alarming Q3 slip, note analysts.