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10 Things Americans Spent Less Money on During the Pandemic

Despite higher earnings and some inflation, Americans spent a lot less on these expenses in 2020. Americans’ spending fell by 2.7% in 2020. U.S. households spent an average of $61,334 — compared with $63,036 the year before, according to new federal data. That spending drop came although our earnings were 1.8% higher (before tax), on average, and inflation rose 1.2%. You can probably guess, from your own experience, one big reason why spending fell: the COVID-19 pandemic. “Stay-at-home orders affected expenditures for retail outlets, entertainment venues, and even transportation providers, as those working from home ceased commuting,” according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, you might be surprised at some of the other things Americans spent less on. Here are, based on the BLS’ latest consumer spending data, some spending categories in which the fall-off in spending was greatest.

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