Among the major components of consumer spending, only the apparel and services category saw statistically significant change in 2003, a 6.2-percent decrease.
The decrease in spending on apparel and services in 2003 was similar to the 6.1-percent decline in 2001. Spending on apparel and services rose just 0.3 percent in 2002.
Spending decreased in 2003 for men’s and boys’ apparel (-9.2 percent), women’s and girls’ apparel (-9.9 percent), apparel for children under 2 years (-1.4 percent), and footwear (-6.1 percent), whereas spending on other apparel products and services rose 7.8 percent. This last category includes items such as watches and jewelry, and services such as laundry, and drycleaning.
The trend in the share of total expenditures spent on apparel and services has been downward over the last several years, possibly due to the competition from cheaper imported clothing as well as a shift to more casual, less expensive styles. In 1993, apparel and services accounted for 5.5 percent of total spending; by 2003, the share had fallen to 4.0 percent.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Expenditures on apparel down in 2003 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/jul/wk1/art02.htm (visited September 21, 2023).