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Tags: Summer | Growth | Industry | Entertaining

Summer Growth Industry: Entertaining Kids

Sunday, 08 July 2012 03:48 PM EDT

Money spent on summer camps, trips to theme parks and at the neighborhood pool adds up.

Americans will spend a total of $16.6 billion entertaining their kids this summer, CNBC reports, citing data from an American Express Spending and Savings tracker.

Americans on average will spend $600 per child this summer, though that figure almost doubles when it comes to affluent households, defined as taking home at least $100,000 a year.

Spending tends to vary according to region, with families in the northeast spending more.

This year was the first time the spending tracker asked participants to divulge costs associated with keeping the kids happy and occupied over the summer, though the study finds most Americans will spend the same amount or even more than last year.

"American kids seem to be much more scheduled than in the past," says Melanie Backs, an American Express spokeswoman, on why the survey was expanded to gauge spending on childhood summertime fun.

While many consumer confidence and sales figures indicate Americans are worried over their financial health, the American Express tracker finds that families are splurging a little more when it comes to family fun this summer. Some 63 percent of such spending is going to day trips to theme parks and similar locations, which would point to an increase in discretionary spending.

The American Camp Association, meanwhile, says spending on camps has gone up over the past few years despite unending economic cloudiness.
Revenue at day camps grew 23 percent between 2008 and 2011, and by 7 percent at sleep-away camps during the same period, the association finds.

Overall, however, consumers remain reluctant to open their purse strings.
The Commerce Department reported recently that U.S. personal spending remained unchanged in May from April, according to its most recent data.
Meanwhile, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in June from 79.3 in May.

Analysts had forecast a 74.1 reading.

"We are at a stall speed expansion here," says Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to Reuters.
"We have a consumer who is sort of losing steam."

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Sunday, 08 July 2012 03:48 PM
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