By John Power of the Bank's Structural Economic Analysis Division.
In real terms, the growth of durable spending has substantially outpaced that of spending on other goods and services since the mid-1990s. But that gap largely reflects the effects of falling relative prices: nominal spending on durables and on non-durables has grown at similar rates during that period. This article uses a simple framework to assess the behaviour of the real and nominal ratio of durables to non-durable spending in the long run. It also considers the current position of the ratios in more detail and provides some assessment of how we might expect them to have evolved given prevailing cyclical factors.