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Consumers find a way to spend on entertainment.

No wonder Hollywood is hurting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), spending on entertainment has declined 7% since 2009.

The poorest Americans are doing more than their fair share to stem this decline by spending a larger percentage of their income on entertainment than the rest of society.

Per BLS, the average U.S. household (or "consumer unit" in BLS speak) spent $2,504 on entertainment in 2010. That represents about 4% of the typical household's pre-tax income.

As one might expect, the dollar amount expended on entertainment generally rises with income. Households earning $70,000 or more spent $4,438 on movies, music and other diversions last year, 3.7 times the average expenditure of those in the $15,000-$19,999 income slot. Yet, the latter group spent 6.8% of their total income on entertainment. The $70,000-plus households spent only 3.4%.

Total U.S. household spending fell 2% from the previous year. That followed a 2.8% decline from 2008 to 2009. Entertainment spending was the hardest hit of all major categories, falling 7% in the 2010 survey. The previous year saw a 5% drop in the category.

In the latest survey, health care (+1%) and transportation (+2%) were the only major components of spending to increase.

                                  % of total
Income Group      Ent. spending       income

$10,000,414,999            $981         7.8%
$15,000-$19,999          $1,193         6.8%
$30,000-$39,999          $1,703         4.9%
$50,000-$69,999          $2,468         4.2%
All Consumers            $2,504        -4.0%
$70,000+                 $4,438        -3.4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Consumer
Expenditure Survey

2010 entertainment spending by income group
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Title Annotation:MONEY TRAIL
Author:Lisanti, Joseph
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 12, 2011
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