Spend Matters Friday Latte

Our spending habits have changed.
How the economic slowdown has changed consumer spending in America -- AMERICANS are spending less on clothes and eating out and more on household fuel bills and healthcare, according to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Between 2007 and 2010, average annual consumer spending per unit--defined as a family/shared household or single/financially independent person--fell by 3.1% to $48,109. Average prices over this period have risen by 5.2%, so real consumer spending has fallen by almost 8%. The recession and economic slowdown have reduced buying power and consumers are tightening their belts in many ways, though spending on women's clothes (and belts) fares slightly better than men's.

Woah. Go outside and talk a walk, people.
Netflix takes up 32.7% of Internet bandwidth -- Despite recent troubles, Netflix is a major force on the Internet, accounting for 32.7% of peak U.S. downstream traffic, according to a new report. Sandvine Intelligent Broadband Networks' report analyzed 200 Internet service providers in 80 countries and found that real-time entertainment apps take up 60% of peak downstream traffic, up from 50% last year. Netflix has more than half of that share. Sandvine considers the hours between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to be peak times.

Down the drain...
Whirlpool Plans Job Cuts, Lowers Forecast -- Whirlpool Corp.'s third-quarter earnings more than doubled, but the appliance maker cut its full-year earnings forecast Friday and said it will eliminate more than 5,000 jobs as sales grew more slowly than expected. The Benton Harbor, Mich., company, whose brands also include KitchenAid and Maytag, lowered its full-year earnings estimate to $4.75 to $5.25 a share from its July forecast of $7.25 to $8.25, citing weaker-than-expected demand.

Thai floods...
UPDATE 1-Thai floods batter global electronics, auto supply chains -- Manufacturers of car parts to computer hard drives are worst hit in Thailand and face a bleak key holiday selling season due to massive floods, which have shut down production. Japanese car makers that had just started to recover from the March earthquake and tsunami that disrupted their supply chains are now facing shortages of key parts made in Thailand, a key manufacturing base in Southeast Asia.

Sheena Moore

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