Speed Reads

sobering

Alcohol sales fall for the first time in nearly 20 years

For the first time since at least 2001, people around the world are drinking less than they used to. The latest tally of global alcohol sales by the market research firm Euromonitor International found that sales fell in 2015 for the first time since the firm first started tracking sales 14 years ago; Euromonitor's alcoholic drinks analyst Spiros Malandrakis estimates that the last drop in worldwide alcohol consumption actually took place in the late 1990s, during the Asian financial crisis. "The once infinite growth narrative that used to exist proves to be not so infinite," Malandrakis told CNNMoney.

Overall, in 2015, the volume of alcohol consumed dropped by 0.7 percent, though sales in dollar terms did rise by about 2 percent. Analysts contend that global economic slumps are driving drinkers to cut back. For instance, China, whose economy slowed last year, saw its total consumption drop by a whopping 3.5 percent. Brazil, which is facing political corruption and an economic slump, saw its consumption drop by 2.5 percent.

The two drinks that are suffering the most from the slumps are rum and vodka, which landed top spots for the worst performing drinks in 2015. The only drinks that surged somewhat in popularity were English gin, Irish whiskey, Japanese whiskey, and dark beer.