Michael Mandel is surprised by where Americans are cutting corners:

In real terms, Americans are spending $164 billion less (in 2007 dollars) in January 2009 compared to January 2008. Out of that, $112 billion is user-operated transportation--purchases of cars and trucks, and spending on gas and oil.

But another $56 billion of decline came from food! That is to say, adjusted for inflation, real personal consumption of food fell by $56 billion. That's the second largest contributor to the decline in personal consumption. Number 3, clothing, was only $18 billion down.

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