Consumer spending in Missouri grew 4% last year, but that lagged the average increase seen across the rest of the country, according to annual data on personal consumption expenditures released last month by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The national increase of 5.1% in 2018 marked an acceleration from 4.4% the year before. Missouri’s 4.0% growth was a touch higher than its 3.9% mark in 2017.
Only six states saw less of an increase in consumer spending than Missouri did in 2018. Three other states tied Missouri. Six of the nine states that saw growth equal to or less than Missouri are connected in a swath of the Midwest and South stretching from Iowa to Louisiana.
Personal spending per capita in Missouri was $40,060 last year. That was about 4.9% less than the average for the Plains states, a seven-state region defined by the BEA. National spending per capita was $42,757, about 6.3% higher than in Missouri.
Missourians spent about $7,300 on health care in 2018, making it the largest specific expenditure for consumers in the state. The biggest growth in spending came in gasoline and other energy goods; Missouri residents spent 10.8% more in that category in 2018 than they did the year before.