For 1st Time in 15 Years, World Goes Easier on the Booze

Global alcohol consumption declined for the first time since at least 2001
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2016 4:36 PM CDT
For 1st Time in 15 Years, World Goes Easier on the Booze
He's pouring, but we're not drinking.   (Shutterstock)

So much for the conventional wisdom that—as CNN puts it—"people tend to drink in good times and bad." According to market research firm Euromonitor International, global alcohol consumption fell by 0.7% in 2015. It's the first time people are drinking less alcohol since Euromonitor started tracking that stat in 2001—and likely even before that. The Telegraph reports the world drank 1.7 billion fewer liters of alcohol in 2015 than it did in 2014. In a remarkable show of moderation, we only managed to put away 248 billion liters total last year. Experts blame the drop in alcohol consumption on slumping economies across the globe, according to the Week.

China, the biggest alcohol consumer in the world, drank 3.5% less booze in 2015. Major drops were also seen in Russia (8%) and the Ukraine (17%). In terms of specific alcohols, rum and vodka had the worst 2015. Not even beer was safe, as consumption dropped 1.3%. But it wasn't all bad news. People actually drank more English gin, Irish and Japanese whiskey, and dark beer last year. And cider consumption rose 4.5%. "It is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever-important millennial demographic," Euromonitor's senior alcoholic drinks analyst says. Experts expect alcohol consumption to rebound in 2016, so get out and party hard this weekend. (More alcohol stories.)

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