Disaggregating Consumer Spending Further
Even non-durable consumer goods and consumer services however tend to see its growth rate rise in absolute terms during booms and fall during busts. This is because the bust in investment goods and durable consumer goods reduces overall effective production capacity so much that it overshadows the relative boom of non-durable consumer goods and consumer services. However, there are in fact some consumer goods that are counter-cyclical not just in relative, but in absolute terms as well. This include very cheap forms of food, such as noodles, baked beans and spam (not the infamous form of e-mail, but the food), which rises in demand during economic slumps, as the number of people who feel they cannot afford more expensive forms of food.
As Greg Mankiw points out, such goods are called inferior goods, which is not meant as a perjorative terms but as a way of describing its income elasticity
And so, we can divide up consumer spending in three categories:
-Durable goods which are pro-cyclical in both relative and absolute terms.
-Most non-durable consumer goods and consumer services which are counter-cyclical in relative terms but pro-cyclical in absolute terms.
-Inferior consumer goods, which are counter-cyclical in both relative and absolute terms.