A new report by the U.S. Commerce Department shows that steady growth in consumer spending has helped spur the Texas economy over the last 15 years.
The government for the first time has issued consumer spending data broken down by state, revealing the nation's uneven recovery from the Great Recession. The report analyzes data from the calendar years 1997 through 2012. North Dakota led the nation in 2012 with a 9.2 percent increase in per capita personal expenditures, compared to a 3.3 percent advance nationally. Per capita spending in Texas rose 4.1 percent on the strength of autos and auto part sales and transportation services. Meanwhile, Texas had the second-lowest per capita spending on housing and utilities in the U.S., after Mississippi.