Cheers! As the economy begins to rise from the depths of the deepest U.S. recession since World War II, more Americans are having a beer after work, or wine when they go out to dinner, according to a new study released Thursday.

The sale of beer, wine and spirits in restaurants, bars and other licensed locations increased 4.9 percent in 2011, according to a new a study by restaurant research firm Technomic, published Nov. 29. The increase led to a total of $93.7 billion in sales last year, and Technomic contends that those numbers will only rise more in 2012 and 2013.

Although the cost of alcohol remains on the minds of some, Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic, said in a press release Thursday that the increase in sales may be a reflection of drinkers “satisfying their pent-up demand for favorite drinks and exploring new adult beverages.”

Parts of the alcohol industry outside of restaurants and bars are posting signs of improvement as well. Beer imports into the U.S. also increased 6.5 percent this year. Latinos drink more imported beer than any other group, according to Mintel, a market research firm. This trend has lead some to think that an increase in imported beer sales means Latinos are growing more confident about the economy.

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Although Americans may have held off from boozing in restaurants or drinking pricey imported beers during the recession, alcohol sales in general did not exactly fall on hard times when the economy was at its weakest. Despite sales of alcohol at bars and restaurants decreasing 4.6 percent in 2009, liquor sales at stores and supermarkets increased 1.2 percent, according to a report by Mintel. Even in 2010, when unemployment grew to be as large as 9.6 percent, alcohol sales jumped 9 percent, CNNMoney reports.

So alcohol may not be the perfect indicator for the health of the economy, but there are other items pegged as “recession proof.” Lipstick, halloween costumes and fast food are all purchases that Time reports most Americans refuse to go without -- no matter the state of their bank account.

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  • President Barack Obama holds a beer during a visit to Gator's Dockside restaurant in Orlando, Florida, on September 8, 2012 during the first day of a 2-day bus tour across Florida. AFP PHOTOS/SAUL LOEB

  • Obama picks up a beer during a visit to Gator's Dockside restaurant in Orlando, Florida, September 8, 2012 during the first day of a 2-day bus tour across Florida. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

  • Obama drinks a beer at Gator's Dockside restaurant in Orlando. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

  • Obama gets a beer and a pork chop as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on August 13, 2012 during an unannounced stop on his three-day campaign bus tour. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON

  • Obama has a beer with Mike Cunningham III and other workers at the beer stand at the Iowa State Fair, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Obama drinks a beer as he sits with his wife Michelle, daughter Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden, as the U.S. Senior Men's National Team and Brazil play during a pre-Olympic exhibition basketball game at the Verizon Center on July 16, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

  • Obama shares a beer with Suzanne Woods (R) and Jennifer Klanac (L) during at Ziggy's Pub and Restaurant Amherst, Ohio, July 5, 2012, during an unannounced visit while on a bus tour of Ohio and Pennslyvania. AFP PHOTO/Jim Watson

  • Obama raises his glass while drinking Guinness at The Dubliner pub on March 17, 2012 in Washington. Obama went to the bar to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

  • Obama drinks a Guinness beer at The Dubliner pub on March 17, 2012 in Washington. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

  • Obama holds up a bottle of beer as he delivers a case of White House brewed beer to the fire fighters at Fire Station No. 14, during an unscheduled stop, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, in Norfolk, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • In this July 16, 2012 file photo, Obama sips his beer as he watches Team USA and Brazil during the first half of an Olympic men's exhibition basketball game, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • In this July 5, 2012 file photo, Obama has a beer as he talks with patrons as he stops for a beer at Ziggy's Pub and Restaurant in Amherst, Ohio. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

  • Barack Obama

    Obama stops for a beer at The Pump House, a pub and grill, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, during a three day campaign bus tour through Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Obama clinks beer glasses with unemployed construction workers as they sit down for a discussion at the Harp and Celt Restaurant and Irish Pub in Orlando, Florida, October 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

  • The Obamas sip Guinness at a pub as they visit Moneygall village in rural County Offaly, Ireland, where the President's great-great-great grandfather Falmouth Kearney hailed from, on May 23, 2011. Obama landed in Ireland on May 23, 2011 for a visit celebrating his ancestral roots, kicking off a four-nation European tour. AFP PHOTO/ JEWEL SAMAD

  • In this July 30, 2009 file photo, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have a beer with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., second from left, and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)