Recession-Wary Teens Cut Back on Spending

Teens spend less on food, apparel while video games and DVDs still popular

By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2009 9:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – The downturn is causing teens, who usually spend through recessions while parents absorb the pinch, to cut back, Advertising Age reports. Teenagers are spending about 14% less this spring than last, a “dramatic impact” from a demographic that spends an average of $125 billion each year. Unemployment is also cramping spending; the teen jobless rate hit 22% in March, the highest in a decade.

Teens are curtailing spending on beauty products, apparel, and recreational activities like concerts, sporting events, and movies. But they’re not willing to cut back on DVDs, music, and video games, which rose from 7% to 8% as a percentage of teen spending. Restaurants are among the most affected by the belt-tightening—teens spent 20% less on food last fall than fall 2007.

Teens haven't stopped spending on video games and gaming systems; the latter rose from 7% to 8% as a percentage of overall teen spending.   (Getty Images)
As a group, teens are very aware of the recession and as such have tightened their spending in several categories.   (Getty Images)
Among food brands, Starbucks remains a favorite among increasingly cost-conscious teens.   (Getty Images)
Teens are being more choosy about where they spend, a survey finds, and many face dim employment prospects this summer.   (Creative Commons)
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