Do You Drink Up When The Economy Is Down? Booze And Bad Times Go Hand-In-Hand (Sort Of)

Do you drink up when the economy is down?
Do you drink up when the economy is down?
Billy Branch via

Got the Great Recession blues? Maybe you could use a drink? A single malt perhaps? No, you're a Sparks gal, right? You're not alone.

Drinking is at a 25-year-high, even though spending on alcohol has declined sightly, according the California Board of Equalization. How do you drink more and spend less? Cheaper spirits, of course:

Might we recommend malt-beverage energy drinks! Classy. Fortified wines. Mmm. Homelessy. And, our favorite, sneaking airplane bottles of Cuervo into the club. Suave.

According to the state report, which looked at recessions in 1970, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1990, 2001 and 2008, "There are no consistent patterns in alcohol consumption or spending on alcohol during recessions."

But ... "Alcohol consumption nationally is at a 25-year high, based on a Gallup survey released in the summer of 2010, with 67 percent of Americans drinking alcohol," the Board of Equalization states.

So which one is it?

Americans' spending on drinks increased 2.4 percent right before the heart of the recession hit in 2008 and 2009, according to the state. Then in declined 1.7 percent.

But the latest (and greatest?) recession started in late 2007 and officially ended in June, 2009, so we say, yes, you looked at your wallet and said, I need a drink.


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