Consumer Spending During Recessions ~ market folly

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Consumer Spending During Recessions

Todd Sullivan over at Value Plays takes a quick look at consumer spending from the 1990-91 and 2001-02 recessions. Surprisingly, Tobacco spending was down. We only point this one because in recessionary times, people are quick to point out plays like Altria (MO) and Philip Morris International (PM). When, in reality, the spending in their product category is down. The increase in education spending has already played out again this recession, as the number of MBA program applicants has been very high, if not at historical highs. Lastly, we want to highlight the massive decrease in the category: food away from home. This illustrates perfectly our thesis for shorting casualty dining restaurants in a deteriorating consumer environment and going long McDonald's (MCD) as a hedge. Because, after all, if people do go out to eat, they are going to the cheapest place out there, the golden arches.

(click to enlarge)

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