Globally US consumers spend the largest proportion (75.1% in 2012) of their expenditure on discretionary items – all items except food, non-alcoholic beverages and housing, but since the 2008-2009 economic downturn US households have not raised their discretionary spending. Worldwide, consumer expenditure on discretionary items rose by 7.4% in real terms during 2007-2012, driven by spending in emerging and developing countries where significant opportunities exist for consumer goods businesses.

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