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Consumer Expenditure Surveys
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Building a Comprehensive Consumption Measure

The Bureau of Labor Statistics began an initiative to produce a new consumption measure in early 2021. An aim of this initiative is to produce a more comprehensive measure of economic well-being than is possible with expenditures alone. The measure will be based on the theoretical concept of consumption and will include the values of goods and services purchased within a certain time period and assumed to be consumed within the same period (e.g., food purchased at a restaurant, household utilities), the flow of services for owner-occupied housing and the stock of vehicles, in-kind benefits, and home production. By including all of these, a more comprehensive measure is possible. The plan is to produce published tables and public use micro-level data. Data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys will serve as the base of the measure with values for home production estimated using data from the American Time Use Survey.

More information about this initiative can be found on the following pages:

  • Research and Resources: Preliminary results for the consumption measure, related prior works, and other resources.
  • Symposium: In September 2021, BLS hosted a symposium on consumption measurement. This page provides links to presentations and videos from the symposium.
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    Last Modified Date: May 13, 2022