It's difficult to understand why food inflation would cause riots in Egypt ... until you realize Egyptians spend 40% of their earnings on food. It's hard to believe a housing bubble and high energy prices could take down the U.S. economy ... until you realize that Americans spend half our paychecks on housing and transportation.
Consumer spending maps tell us more than how we spend. They reveal the DNA of an economy. The following graphs compare how U.S. consumers spend money versus Egypt and members of the fast-charging "BRIC" group -- Brazil, Russia, India and China. All charts courtesy of the Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Survey, except for the final image that is pulled from the Bureau of
Labor Statistics. In particular, pay attention to the food columns. U.S. consumers spend one of every ten dollars on nourishment. Developing countries spend as much as five times more on food.
USA: DEEP DIVE