African-American Buying Power To Reach $1.1 Trillion By 2015

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/30/2013 | 02:00 PM EST

Black Americans are spending more, but is it a good thing?

By 2015, the African-American population, which makes up 13.7 percent of the United States total population, is expected to have a buying power of $1.1 trillion, according to The Nielsen Company.

The report, which is titled, “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” which was commissioned by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, shed a light on the underrepresented potential and spending power of the African-American community.

Though Black Americans are making massive contributions to the economy through their spending, there are signs that suggest the African-American community’s buying power may not be viewed as such a powerful thing after all - at least according to Dr. Boyce Watkins, who reported in the Financial Times that Jewish businessmen referred Black spenders as “liquid money,” because they spend it so quickly, and to businesses that are not owned by Blacks.

“The same way that water falls out of a man’s hands, money typically seeps out of a black person’s hands the same way. Your community gets money and immediately gives it all away to people who aren’t black. We see that as a huge business opportunity,” a Jewish business owner reportedly said.

“He then used the example of many black people on payday or when we get our tax refunds,” Boykins wrote. “He noted how we’ll go to an Indian business to cash the check, an Asian hair salon, a corner store owned by Arabs and a department store owned by whites.  He explained how, when it’s all said and done, these other business people are waiting like hungry animals to eat our bank accounts as if we are the prey.”

With that said, should the Black community be proud of its spending power? More importantly, should African-Americans be focusing on spending their money at more Black-owned businesses?

(Photo: Eric Thayer/Landov/Reuters)

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