April 27, 1999
Consumer expenditures on apparel decreased 1.3 percent in 1997, following a 2.8-percent increase in 1996 and a 3.6-percent rise in 1995. Consumer units spent an average of $1,729 on clothing and related products in 1997, about the same as the amount spent on entertainment and on health care.
In 1997, decreases in spending on apparel for children under 2 years of age (down 6 percent), women and girls (down 5 percent), and men and boys (down 4 percent) offset increases in expenditures on other apparel products and services (up 9 percent) and footwear (up 5 percent). Other apparel products and services includes items such as watches, jewelry, shoe repair, and dry cleaning.
Consumer units with only a husband and wife spent $1,801, compared with $2,550 for consumer units where the husband and wife had children. Among the latter group, the highest annual average expenditures on apparel were for units where the oldest child was between the ages of 6 and 17.
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. Additional information is available from "Consumer Expenditures in 1997", Report 927.