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Consumer Expenditure Surveys
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Comparing expenditures from the Consumer Expenditure Survey with the Personal Consumer Expenditures: Results of the CE/PCE Concordance

This article and accompanying spreadsheets present a new comparison of aggregate expenditures from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) component of the National Income and Product Accounts produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). It updates the estimates presented in the summary comparison table dated 09/08/17 previously posted on the website. The new table shows annual CE and PCE estimates from 2010 through 2017. It uses the version of the PCE dated September 28, 2018.

Results:

Ratios for comparable item categories, adjusted for population coverage differences between the CE and PCE, ranged from 0.75 to 0.78 over the 2010–2017 time period. The most recent year’s ratios are similar to previous years. The ratio for comparable durable goods increased from the 2016 value of 0.67 to 0.72, the ratio for comparable non-durable goods increased from the 2016 value of 0.59 to 0.60, while the ratio for comparable services remained the same at 0.86. Overall, for both all items and comparable items, services and non-durables are relatively stable over the reported time period compared to durables which display larger changes year-to-year. Some of the ratios for comparable detailed items are volatile year-to-year depending on the sample in either dataset. For the motivations behind this project and additional context, see https://www.bls.gov/cex/twoyear/200405/csxpce.pdf.

  • Summary comparison of aggregate Consumer Expenditures (CE) and Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), based on 2007 Benchmark and restricted to the most comparable categories on the basis of concepts involved and comprehensiveness, 2010-2017 (Preliminary) - PCE values as of 9/28/18 - Tabulated 9/28/18 (XLSX) (years compared: 2010–2017; older years included in a separate sheet)
    Taylor J. Wilson. 2018.
Methodology and Concordance:

The estimates reflect the impact of a concordance of CE and PCE categories introduced in September 2012 that reflected changes in the composition of comparable categories in each of the three major groups of expenditures - durables, nondurables, and services. The concordance, which is based on joint work by BEA, the Consumer Price Index, the Division of Price Index Number Research, and CE staff, matches CE item categories (UCCs) to the PCE categories presented in the underlying detail table 2.4.5U Personal Consumption Expenditures by Type of Product on the BEA website. (For details on the history of this concordance, see https://www.nber.org/books/carr11-1.) The concordance has been updated to reflect changes in UCCs introduced with the implementation of a new Interview survey instrument in 2017. The concordance used to produce the comparison (XLSX) is available on the CE website.

The detailed concordance will never remain static. It is currently based on the PCE 2007 benchmark. The concordance will also be revised as it has been for the creation of the current comparison table, whenever the CPI and CE create new items.

In many cases, allocations within categories are assigned based on expert judgment by staff from the associated programs who worked on the joint concordance. These allocations will continue to be reviewed.

 

Last Modified Date: March 19, 2019