- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota consumers felt comfortable opening up their wallets in the three years after the Great Recession ended in 2009, outpacing the nation’s consumer spending growth by 4 percentage points.

New economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday shows that consumer spending jumped 14.9 percent in South Dakota from 2009 through 2012, while the nation’s grew by 10.7 percent.

The bureau for the first time released state-by-state breakdowns of personal income, consumption and specific spending categories. The numbers point to substantial shifts in the U.S. economy since the recession ended.

Spending jumped 28 percent in North Dakota, the largest gain nationwide, from 2009 through 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. It surged nearly 16 percent in Oklahoma, and the next-largest increases were in South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.

South Dakota’s per-person consumer spending in 2012 grew 3.5 percent over the previous year, according to the report. That is slightly stronger than nation’s 3.3 percent growth in 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available.

“Though this is just one indicator, it is another sign that South Dakota has a strong and growing economy,” Kelsey Pritchard, spokeswoman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, said in a statement. “Just this week, Gov. Daugaard was in New York to spread the word about South Dakota’s economic strength and business-friendly climate.”

South Dakota’s per capita consumer spending hit a pre-recession high of $31,597 in 2007. But by 2012, each South Dakotan spent $37,036 on average on consumer goods and services compared to $35,498 for the nation. Of that amount, almost $5,000 was spent on housing, about $7,100 on health care and about $2,900 on groceries and other off-premises food and beverages.

The average South Dakota consumer had one of the highest per capita expenditures - $2,521 - on gas and energy goods in 2012. The state trailed only North Dakota ($3,916) and Wyoming ($3,475). The national average was $1,328.

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