While the state of the economy is having a negative effect on most areas of the retail sector, more than a few industries are experiencing an uptick. Time examines recent trends in consumer spending, discovering that products and services that fulfill needs like escapism, inexpensive luxury and stress relief are reaping the most benefits.

Though it's not exactly clear what methodology the magazine used to draw their conclusions, it's interesting to note the contrast between purchases that reflect a desire for personal improvement – yoga classes, gardening supplies and mobile devices – versus those that seem to be indicative of temporary “guilty pleasures” – romance novels, ridiculous comedies and donuts. And because the stock market appears to be a bigger gamble than Vegas, more and more people are willing to risk their hard earned dollars on the chance to hit it big in the lottery. 

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