- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal report released Thursday shows modest consumer spending increases in Missouri as the state’s economy continues to improve five years after the Great Recession.

The U.S. Department of Commerce report shows that consumer spending in the state increased nearly 4 percent in 2012, the latest year for which figures are available, with a 4.5 percent increase in 2011. By contrast, statewide consumer spending decreased .04 percent from the previous year in 2009 amid a nationwide housing bust.

The 15-year Bureau of Economic Analysis study offers the first state-by-state comparison of consumer spending. North Dakota saw the greatest increase in per-person income in 2012, with a 16.2 percent hike driven by increased wealth from booming oil and natural gas production.

In Missouri, per-person spending in 2012 was $34,132, slightly below the national average of $35, 498. The state ranked 27th overall on that measure.

Average per-person spending on housing and utilities in the state for 2012 was $5,201, well below the national average of $6,415 and considerably lower than the regional averages in the six New England states ($8,178) and five states that make up the Far West territory ($8,306).

For health care, the average costs of $6,272 in Missouri exceeded the national average of $5,886. Missourians also spent slightly more that year on gas than the national average, as well as food and beverages consumed outside the home.

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