HARTFORD, Conn. – Federal statistics show consumers spent more in New England in 2012 than in any other region in the United States.
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The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Thursday that housing, health care and food were costlier in the six-state region than in the rest of the United States in 2012. Spending totaled $44,549 per person in the six-state region.
In contrast, consumer spending per person was lowest in the Southwest and Southeast, at about $32,000.
Consumer spending per person in Rhode Island was $36,974 in 2012, New England's weakest showing and due to persistently high unemployment.
In Vermont, spending per person increased 13 percent, to $39,443, from 2009 when the recession ended, to 2012. It was the strongest pace in the region.
Spending per person was highest in the region in Massachusetts, at $47,308 in 2012.