Bureau of Labor Statistics

Expenditures on apparel down in 2003

July 06, 2005

Among the major components of consumer spending, only the apparel and services category saw statistically significant change in 2003, a 6.2-percent decrease.

Average annual percent change in expenditures on apparel and services, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2001-2003
[Chart data—TXT]

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.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Find out more in "Consumer Expenditures in 2003," (PDF 129K), BLS Report 986.


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 December 04, 2021).


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