Garett Jones - Economist at George Mason University. You can follow him on Twitter: @GarettJones
According to the arcane conventions of economic statistics, a "consumer durable" is any physical product that lasts longer than three years: cars, fridges, computers (Strangely, Levi's don't count as a durable).
Normal economics has two pieces of advice about how to buy consumer durables:
1. Buy them when interest rates are low (cheaper to borrow the money; and you weren't going to earn anything at the bank anyway).
2. Don't buy them when your income takes a one-time hit (if the 'crops' have been bad the last few years--like they've been since the Great Recession--it's best to focus on buying things that get used up: food, haircuts, doctor visits; you can keep driving the Corolla).
Recessions are times when 1 and 2 usually push in opposite directions, but in practice 2 wins the battle: Durable purchases collapse in a recession.
But the idea of a durable is more important than any official definition: And memory, wholly intangible, is quite durable.
People often shrink from driving to a distant, promising restaurant, flying to a new country, trying a new sport--it's a hassle, and the experience won't last that long. That's the wrong way to look at it. When you go bungee jumping, you're not buying a brief experience: You're buying a memory, one that might last even longer than a good pair of blue jeans.