Just over a week ago, USA Today ran an interesting piece on where consumers plan on spending their economic stimulus tax rebate. They also compared it to how people actually spent their rebates back in 2001.
For starters, this is how people say they’ll be spending their current rebate:
23.3% – Keep in savings account
21.4% – Apply to credit card bills
6.5% – Car payment
5.1% – Home repair
5.1% – Gas/energy bills
4.2% – Buy things for the house
3.7% – Small daily expenses
2.3% – Buy clothes for kids
1.9% – Buy food/groceries
1.4% – Buy clothes for self/spouse
1.4% – Buy consumer electronics
1.4% – Apply to mortgage payment
From an economic standpoint, that doesn’t sound very stimulating.
But wait… What can history teach us?
Here’s a look at how people actually spent their rebates that last time around. The percentages were expressed in non-standard way, so I’ve just ranked them from greatest to smallest:
5. Women’s clothing
6. Apparel (presumably not including women’s clothing)
7. Electronics (presumably not including computers)
8. Kitchen appliances
9. Restaurant meals
Hmmm… That’s more like it.
Rampant consumerism, just like the bigwigs in Washington envisioned it.