Monday, May 24, 2010

top things Americans can't live without


Recently, "U.S. News and World Report" ran an article looking at sales figures going back to the start of the economic downturn in 2007.

--Other than essentials like food and shelter, the idea was to find the ten things Americans can't live without even when times are tough.

--Things like cigarettes, pornography, and even toilet paper all took hits. Here are ten things that didn't:

#1.) Laptops: According to the Consumer Electronics Association, laptop sales this year are expected to be twice what they were in 2007.

#2.) High-speed Internet: In a Pew Research Center survey last year, high-speed Internet was one of just three things people said was more of a necessity now than in 2006.

#3.) Smart phones: Overall, cell phone sales dropped last year for the first time ever, but sales of smart phones were actually up by 7%. And sales are expected to increase another 25% this year.

#4.) Education: Between 2008 and 2010, enrollment in private schools fell by less than 1%, while college enrollment has gone up.

#5.) Movies: Last year's total box office gross was more than $10.6 BILLION. That's a five-year high.

#6.) TV: According to a recent survey, the average American watches 18 hours of TV a week. That's two hours more than last year . . . maybe because everyone's sitting at home unemployed.

#7.) Music downloads: Last year, CD sales dropped by 21%, but song and album downloads increased by nearly as much.

#8.) Pets: For the past several years, the amount of money we spend on pet food, supplies, and veterinarian visits has continued to rise by about 5% a year.

#9.) Alcohol: Bar and restaurant sales are down, but overall sales of beer and wine are both up. In other words, people are drinking more, but they're doing it at home.

#10.) Coffee: According to the National Coffee Association, Americans have cut back on coffee from Starbucks and other restaurants by about 5% this year. But the number of Americans who make coffee at home has increased by about 4%.

(U.S. News and World Report)

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