As happens during a recession, consumer spending in the United States declined 3% in 2009, according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Spending fell in most general categories, including a 3% drop in eating out and a 5% drop in entertainment – two areas of interest to ULI members involved in retail and mixed-use developments.

But average annual household spending on restaurants and entertainment varies widely among the largest metropolitan areas, ranging from a high of $7,949 in Seattle to $3,614 in Miami, and from 12.3% of average annual household expenditures in Phoenix to 8.1% in Miami.

For ULI members, such numbers offer some insight into which metropolises enjoy nightlife and may support new retail and entertainment projects, all else being equal in terms of how the metros are already being served. Below is a list of Top 10 major metros by the percentage of 2009 household expenditures spent on eating out and entertainment:

Rank

Metro

Average annual consumer spending on restaurants and entertainment

% of average annual expenditures

1

Phoenix

$6,620

12.3%

2

Seattle

$7,949

12.0%

3

Dallas-Fort Worth

$6,044

11.2%

4

Minneapolis-St. Paul

$6,162

10.9%

5t

Boston

$6,345

10.7%

5t

Houston

$6,331

10.7%

7

Detroit

$5,209

10.5%

8

Los Angeles

$5,870

10.4%

9

New York

$6,182

10.3%

10t

San Francisco

$6,919

10.2%

10t

Atlanta

$4,703

10.2%

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)