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Consumer spending in DC outpaces 50 states

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Residents of the nation's capital spent more money per capita on goods and services over a 16-year period than residents of any of the 50 states, according to government data released Wednesday.

The figures come from a new annual federal report that for the first time reveals consumer spending on a state-by-state basis. The data covers the years 1997 to 2012, and the District of Columbia led the nation in per capita spending every year.

Consumer spending is also growing faster in the District than in most states, reflecting the city's growing wealth. Spending in the District was also quick to recover from the Great Recession.

Per capita consumer spending was $59,423 in the District in 2012, the report said. The closest state was Massachusetts at $47,308.

District residents also spent the most per capita in 2012 on housing — $11,985, followed by Hawaii at $10,002 — and health care, the study found.

Overall, the report showed that spending has soared since the Great Recession ended five years ago in states such as North Dakota with oil and gas drilling booms. Spending has lagged in states hit especially hard by the housing bust, like Nevada.

The District's economy has benefited from increases in federal spending and soaring property values. The figures show that per capita spending dipped by 3.1 percent in the city in 2009, at the height of the recession, but rebounded in 2010, growing by 4 percent.

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Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.

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