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Growing Alcohol Sales Defy Sluggish Economy.

A sluggish economy has not stopped alcohol sales, according to industry analysts who say alcoholic beverage sales grew by nearly 10 percent from May 2010 to May 2011.

During that period, the unemployment rate was more than 9 percent, CNNMoney reports. Esther Kwon, an alcohol industry analyst for Standard & Poor’s, said that in a recession, people continue to drink, although they tend to drink more at home instead of in a bar.

Alcohol sales grew more than 9 percent in 2008, when unemployment averaged 5.8 percent. In 2009, sales edged 1 percent higher, while unemployment jumped to about 9.3 percent. In 2010, sales grew by more than 9 percent, while unemployment rose to 9.6 percent.

Sam Zippin, an analyst for the financial information company Sageworks, noted that health care was the only other industry to maintain growth through the recession. “Other than going to the doctor, [alcohol] is another need to have,” he told CNNMoney.

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