New “Buying Power of Black America” Report shows major shift spending in response to economy

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Chicago, IL ( — Black consumers are responding to tighter economic condition by focusing more of their spending on items and services that improve their homes and lifestyle. That’s one of the trends revealed in the 15th annual report, The Buying Power of Black America, published by Target Market News.

The report analyzes spending for black households in 2008 and finds that African-Americans began showing signs of the pending economic turmoil that would hit the entire nation. The pattern of purchases shifted dramatically in some categories. Contributions to churches and other non-profits dropped 16% to $11 billion. Expenditures on personal care products and services declined 10% to $6.6 billion. Spending on alcoholic beverages decreased 6% to $2.8 billion.

Purchases of items related to the home continued to increase despite the need for economic sacrifices. Appliance purchases grew 27% to $2.2 billion. Computers for home use climbed 28% to $3.5 billion. Consumer electronic expenditures went up by 32% to $4.5 billion.

“African-American households are facing this economy by being more focused in the purchases they make,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the Buying Power report. “In 2008 black consumers had total earned income of $803 billion. They ranked 17th among the economies of the world in comparable gross national income. They continue to be a critical part of the American marketplace, and will contribute substantially in the economic recovery of American business.”

The Buying Power of Black America shows spending estimates for black households in 26 categories for more than 500 products and services. The report’s 100-Plus Index section shows how black households continue to spend on average more than their white counterparts in categories such as food, apparel, appliances, personal care products and services and phone service.

A Sampling of Black Household Expenditures:

Apparel Products and Services — $26.9 billion
Appliances — $2.2 billion
Beverages (Alcoholic) — $2.8 billion
Cars and Trucks — $31.5 billion
Computers — $3.5 billion
Consumer Electronics — $4.5 billion
Contributions — $11.0 billion
Entertainment and Leisure — $2.8 billion
Food — $65.3 billion
Housing and Related Charges — $166.3 billion
Media — $8.3 billion
Personal Care Products and Services — $6.6 billion
Telephone Services — $17.2 billion
Travel, Transportation and Lodging — $6.4 billion

The Buying Power of Black America is the nation’s most quoted research source on the billions of dollars spent annually by African-American consumers. The report is a comprehensive research tool that has been used by hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies.

Copies of the Buying Power of Black America can be purchased from Target Market News for $99 each. Local market editions are also available at $99 for the top 45 African-American metropolitan areas. For more information call 312-408-1881, or visit

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