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May 2003, Vol. 126, No.5
Consumer expenditures for selected items, 1999 and 2000Abby Duly, George Janini, Eric J. Keil, Laura Paszkiewicz, Geoffrey Paulin, and Neil Tseng
T he current Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey program began in 1980. The survey is conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The principal objective of the survey is to collect information on the buying habits of American consumers. The survey consists of two components:
A Diary, or recordkeeping, survey completed by participating consumer units for two consecutive 1-week periods.
An Interview survey in which expenditures of consumer units are obtained in five interviews conducted every 3 months.
Survey participants record dollar amounts for goods and services purchased during the reporting period, regardless of whether payment is made at the time of purchase. Expenditure amounts include all sales and excise taxes for all items purchased by the consumer unit for itself or for others. Excluded from both surveys are all business-related expenditures and expenditures for which the consumer unit is reimbursed.
Each component of the survey queries an independent sample of consumer units that is representative of the U.S. population. In the Diary survey, about 7,500 consumer units are sampled each year. Each consumer unit keeps a diary for two 1-week periods, yielding approximately 15,000 diaries a year. The interview sample is selected on a rotating-panel basis, surveying about 7,500 consumer units each quarter. Each consumer unit is interviewed once per quarter, for five consecutive quarters. Data are collected on an ongoing basis in 105 areas of the United States.
This excerpt is from an article published in the May 2003 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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