The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of consumers in the United States. The CE program provides these data in tables, databases, news releases, reports, and public-use microdata files.

CE data are collected by the Census Bureau for BLS in two surveys, the Interview Survey for major and/or recurring items and the Diary Survey for more minor or frequently purchased items. CE data are primarily used to revise the relative importance of goods and services in the market basket of the Consumer Price Index. Researchers and government agencies also use CE data to study consumers' spending habits and trends. Here is an overview of the CE program and its methods.

To be notified when new datasets become available, sign up for CE updates. The menu will prompt you to select Consumer Expenditures. If you have comments or questions about this page and its contents, contact us .

Announcements

  • NEW On February 21, 2017, three economists with the Consumer Expenditure Surveys program will present results of ongoing research as part of the series of Micro-Economic Policy Seminars held at George Mason University in Arlington, VA.  Topics include:  Expenditures on children; changing patterns in types of mortgage selected before and after the housing collapse; and the relationship of student loan debt to income, expenditures, and accumulation of assets and other liabilities for young, single adults.  For more information, see https://www.bls.gov/cex/ceconferences.htm#northeast.
  • NEW Household Health Care Spending: Comparing the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the National Health Expenditure Accounts (PDF) (years compared: 2011-2014)
  • NEW What the Consumer Expenditure Survey tells us about mortgage instruments before and after the housing collapse (HTML) (PDF)

Latest CE News Releases

Average expenditures in 2015 are $55,978, a 4.6% increase from 2014 levels

08/30/2016

Average expenditures in 2015 were $55,978, a 4.6 percent increase from 2014 levels. In 2014, spending increased 4.7 percent. Average pre-tax income per consumer unit increased at a slightly slower pace than expenditures, up 4.1 percent from 2014 to $69,629.
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Expenditures for July 2014-June 2015 are 5.9% higher than the July 2013-June 2014 average

04/15/2016

Average expenditures per consumer unit for July 2014 through June 2015 were up 5.9 percent compared with the July 2013 through June 2014 midyear average. Average incomes also increased, up 6.6 percent.
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  • Series Report--Already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • Text files (FTP)--For those who want it all. Download a flat file of the entire database or large subset of the database.

CE Survey Forms

Current Survey Forms

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CE Publications

CE Frequently Asked Questions

CE Events in Your Area

CE is Coming to Your Town!

As part of ongoing outreach efforts, CE staff attend conferences outside the Washington, DC area when circumstances permit. You may be interested in attending their presentations, or in arranging for a CE staff member to visit your organization. To see a list of upcoming or past events, click on the links below.

CE Related Links

Other BLS Programs

  • Consumer Price Indexes --monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.
  • Price and Index Number Research experimental poverty measures -- CE data are used to estimate National Academy of Sciences (NAS) based poverty measures and a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)

Other Useful Links

Contact Us

Methods of Contact

Consumer Expenditure Survey program staff are available Monday through Friday to respond to inquiries. Please use any of the methods below to contact the CE program. Inquiries should include your name, and phone number, fax number, mailing address, or email address, along with a brief message.

Telephone
    (202) 691-6900

Incoming calls are connected to the office's voice mail and answered promptly.  

FAX
    (202) 691-7006
 

Mail
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
   Consumer Expenditure Surveys — Branch of Information and Analysis
    Postal Square Building, Room 3985
    2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.
    Washington, DC 20212-0001
 

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