Chicago businesses spending more at restaurants

By Wailin Wong
Posted Feb. 18 at 7:44 a.m.

Spending by Chicago businesses on dining and retail goods rose in the fourth quarter of 2010 from a year earlier, showing “an overall corporate spending resurgence,” according to data released by American Express Business Insights.

The quarterly report draws its data from transactions on American Express’ payment network across the country. In Chicago, businesses spent 11 percent more at local restaurants than the fourth quarter of 2009, and spending on retail goods rose 9 percent on the year.

“As the economy continues to recover, we are seeing that businesses are more apt to spend in areas that may ultimately help their business grow, such as travel and entertainment,” Ed Jay, senior vice president at American Express Business Insights, said in a statement.

The report also tracks consumer spending. According to the report, 18- to 30-year-old Chicago consumers making more than $90,000 a year spent 29 percent more on housewares and furniture in the fourth quarter than a year ago. Older consumers over 56 years of age and making more than $90,000 a year spent 12 percent less on housewares and furniture versus a year ago, but spent 7 percent more on apparel and accessories.

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