Consumer spending is the largest components of the U.S. economy, but the recent recession has caused many to cut back on their shopping habits.                                  

But shoppers might be feeling better soon. According to Reuters, Federal Reserve data released on Thursday shows that households are continuing to recover from the recession.                              

Household wealth (the amount of money people could use to buy things) increased by $943 billion in the first quarter of the year. Household debt also shrank in the first quarter -- another positive sign for consumers.

This is good news, but not great news. The increase is smaller than the increase in the previous quarter. And the amount that people have available to spend is $58.1 trillion, which is still below the $64.2 trillion that people had at the end of 2007. The economy might also be on the brink of a second recession (a double-dip) as housing data continues to sour.

Many retailers have suffered over the past few years because of the decrease in shopping. But good news might be just around the corner for them as consumers' wallets expand.                               

Do you think people are going to start shopping again anytime soon? If you do, you might be interested in researching consumer goods stocks.                                

Here are 10 consumer companies that big money managers have bought in the current quarter. Do you think any of these companies will see share prices rise once the economy brightens up again? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percentage of share float.

1. Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA): A Major Auto Manufacturer with a market cap of $2.64 billion. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 18.8M shares (net), which represents 33.59% of the 55.97M share float.

2. Perry Ellis International (Nasdaq: PERY): An Apparel Clothing company with a market cap of $360.43 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 3.5M shares (net), which represents 32.62% of the 10.73M share float.

3. Boise (NYSE: BZ): A Paper & Paper Products company with a market cap of $651.8 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 15.1M shares (net), which represents 24.75% of the 61.00M share float.

4. Darling International (NYSE: DAR): A Cleaning Products company with a market cap of $2.12 billion. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 28.2M shares (net), which represents 24.61% of the 114.60M share float.

5. Peet's Coffee & Tea (Nasdaq: PEET): A Processed & Packaged Goods company with a market cap of $655.74 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 2.0M shares (net), which represents 15.87% of the 12.60M share float.

6. Titan International (NYSE: TWI): An Auto Parts company with a market cap of $958.78 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 5.0M shares (net), which represents 12.47% of the 40.11M share float.

7. American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (NYSE: AXL): An Auto Parts company with a market cap of $767.16 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 6.6M shares (net), which represents 9.64% of the 68.48M share float.

8. Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR): A Business Equipment company with a market cap of $1.5 billion. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 2.4M shares (net), which represents 8.78% of the 27.35M share float.

9. Libbey (NYSE: LBY): Housewares & Accessories company with a market cap of $414.25 million. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 1.6M shares (net), which represents 8.45% of the 18.94M share float.

10. VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY): A Business Equipment company with a market cap of $3.86 billion. In the current quarter, institutional investors bought 6.9M shares (net), which represents 7.96% of the 86.70M share float.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Andrew Dominguez does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coinstar. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended shorting Peet's Coffee & Tea. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.