It Figures 02/02

The significance of consumer spending, the expense of outfitting an office, online scams and more
This story first appeared in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

WITH THE GOVERNMENT URGING CONSUMERS to "spend, spend, spend" to stimulate the economy, we were curious as to when consumer spending became so crucial to the nation's health. As the chart below shows, consumer spending as a percentage of GDP has remained pretty much unchanged for the past 50 years.

*3rd Quarter Numbers, GDP (Gross Domestic Product), PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
SOURCE: Bureau of Economic Analysis

  THE OVERINFLATING MARKET of Silicon Valley has been grounded. However, though the price of outfitting an office has dropped since the heyday of dotcoms, salaries have increased-and probably won't decrease unless there's a sustained recession, says Bill Coleman of Expect to see bonuses and other forms of compensation fall instead.

SOURCE: Aeron, eBay, BT Commercial Real Estate,
  ONLINE SCAMS are still on the rise (the fastest-growing, Nigerian money orders, increased 8 percent since 2000). Here are the 10 most common Net rip-offs:

*% of total complaints
SOURCE: The National Consumer League
of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of receiving permission-based e-mail.
SOURCE: DoubleClick Inc./NFO World Group

of online shoppers say they're likely to buy products only if they're on sale.
SOURCE: Odyssey

of home offices are primarily online businesses.
SOURCE: Comdex

  3 to7
A consumer typically visits an online store 3 to 7 times prior to making a purchase.
SOURCE: Fry Multimedia

of online consumers aren't aware ad-blocking software exists.
SOURCE: Forrester Research Inc.

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