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Economic News Release
CE CES Program Links

Consumer Expenditures (Annual) News Release

For release: 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Tuesday, September 9, 2014 USDL-14-1671

Technical Information:	(202) 691-6900
Media Contact :	        (202) 691-5902

                    CONSUMER EXPENDITURES--2013

Average expenditures per consumer unit (1) in 2013 were $51,100, little changed 
from 2012 levels, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2013 
spending decreased 0.7 percent during the same period that the Consumer Price 
Index (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent. In 2012 spending had increased 3.5 percent, 
outpacing the increase in prices. In 2013 average income per consumer unit 
edged down from 2012.
Most of the major components of household spending decreased in 2013, as shown 
in table A. The largest declines occurred in the all other expenditures 
(-8.2 percent) and apparel and services (-7.6 percent) components. The all 
other expenditures category includes alcoholic beverages, education, 
miscellaneous, personal care products, reading, and tobacco products, all of 
which showed decreases.  The only major components of household spending to 
increase were healthcare (2.1 percent), housing (1.5 percent), and 
transportation (0.1 percent). Overall food expenditures did not change in 2013, 
however food at home increased 1.4 percent while food away from home decreased 
2.0 percent. Other highlights include a 4.7-percent decrease in entertainment 
spending and a 4.1-percent decrease in cash contributions.

|                                                                             |
|               Changes to Consumer Expenditures (CE) Tax Data                |                       
|                                                                             |
|The CE introduced new estimates of state and federal tax liabilities using   |
|the TaxSim calculator produced by the National Bureau of Economic Research   |
|(NBER). Beginning with the second quarter of 2013, the state and federal tax |
|amounts used in the tables are estimates based on the expenditures and       | 
|income and family characteristics. The CE gratefully acknowledges the support| 
|of NBER. These  estimates improve the quality of the tax liabilities data    | 
|along with estimates of after-tax income data. The tax data collected        |
|directly from consumer units during the Interview survey will be available   |
|in the 2014 public use microdata, after which they will no longer be         |
|collected. A report analyzing the impact of the change is forthcoming.       |
|                                                                             |

Table A. Average annual expenditures and characteristics of all consumer units
and percent changes, 2011-2013	
                                                          Percent change
Item                         2011     2012     2013    2011-2012 2012-2013
Average annual expenditures:
Total                     $49,705  $51,442  $51,100          3.5      -0.7
  Food                      6,458    6,599    6,602          2.2       0.0
    At home                 3,838    3,921    3,977          2.2       1.4
    Away from home          2,620    2,678    2,625          2.2      -2.0
  Housing                  16,803   16,887   17,148          0.5       1.5
  Apparel and services      1,740    1,736    1,604         -0.2      -7.6
  Transportation            8,293    8,998    9,004          8.5       0.1
  Healthcare                3,313    3,556    3,631          7.3       2.1
  Entertainment             2,572    2,605    2,482          1.3      -4.7
  Cash contributions        1,721    1,913    1,834         11.2      -4.1
  Personal insurance        5,424    5,591    5,528          3.1      -1.1
   and pensions                                                           
  All other expenditures    3,382    3,557    3,267          5.2      -8.2
Consumer unit characteristics:                                            
Number of consumer        122,187  124,416  125,670                       
 units (000s)                                                            
Average age of               49.7     50.0     50.1                       
 reference person                                                         
Average number in                                                         
 consumer unit:                                                           
  People                      2.5      2.5      2.5                       
  Earners                     1.3      1.3      1.3                       
  Vehicles                    1.9      1.9      1.9                       
Percent homeowner            64.9     64.3     63.7                       
Income before taxes       $63,685  $65,596  $63,784          3.0       -2.8

Spending patterns, 2012-2013

Table B highlight spending patterns of selected components. 
Spending changes included:

    Health insurance spending routinely accounts for 61 percent of overall 
     health care expenditures. The 21.8-percent increase in health insurance 
     expenditures since 2010 was the driving force behind the increased 
     expenditures on overall healthcare, an 8.2 percent increase from 2012 to 
     2013. The percent reporting health insurance expenditures changed from 
     64 percent in 2010 to 65 percent in 2013.
    Gasoline expenditures decreased by 5.1 percent from 2012 to 2013. In 
     the CPI-U, the average price per gallon for all types of gasoline for 
     2013 dropped 3.0 percent from 2012.
    Overall expenditures on transportation were essentially unchanged due 
     to lower gasoline spending being offset by a 1.9-percent increase in 
     vehicle expenditures from 2012 to 2013.
    Apparel spending continued to decline. The drop from 2012 to 2013 was 
     widespread across most of the subcategories, including an 8.3-percent drop for 
     men and boys clothing and a 7.6-percent drop for women and girls clothing.
    The decrease in cash contributions from 2012 to 2013 can largely be 
     attributed to a 9.1-percent decrease in contributions to charities and a 
     4.8-percent drop in contributions to church and religious organizations. 

Table B. Average annual consumer expenditures for selected components,
Item                                           2011      2012      2013
Health insurance                             $1,922    $2,061    $2,229
Gasoline                                      2,451     2,549     2,418
Vehicle purchases, net outlay (2)             2,669     3,210     3,271
Apparel and services                          1,740     1,736     1,604
Cash contributions to church,                   649       734       699
 religious organizations             

Spending by income quintile

Table C show the percent change for expenditures by income quintile. Overall 
spending decreased in all quintiles except for the lowest quintile, which 
increased by $239. Spending on healthcare increased in all categories with the 
exception of the highest income quintile in 2013. In contrast, all quintiles 
decreased spending on cash contributions. Expenditures on food increased for 
the lowest two quintiles, while spending decreased for the upper quintiles. 

Table C. Dollar change and percent change in average annual expenditures on 
major components by income quintile, 2012-2013
					Lowest		Second		Third	
Item					Dollar Percent	Dollar	Percent	Dollar	
Average annual expenditure change:										
Total					$239	 1.1	-$73	-0.2	-$509	
 Food					 153	 4.4	 257	 5.7	  -70	
  At home				  98	 4.1	 230	 7.7	  -27	
  Away from home			  56	 5.2	  28	 1.8	  -42	
 Housing				 127	 1.4	-264	-2.2	   53	 
 Apparel and services			 -35	-4.6	 -92	-8.1	   19	
 Transportation				-120    -3.5     394     7.2     -110 	  
 Healthcare				 113	 6.7	  63	 2.3	   12	
 Entertainment				  13	 1.3	-187   -11.7	  -59	
 Cash contributions			-121   -17.3	 -55	-5.0	   -6	
 Personal insurance and pensions	 -26	-5.3	  41	 2.5	 -127
 All other expenditures			 137	 7.8	-231   -10.8	 -223	

					Third	Fourth		Highest	

Item					Percent	Dollar	Percent	Dollar	Percent	
Average annual expenditure change:										
Total					-1.2   -$1,138	 -1.9	-$131	-0.1
 Food					-1.2	  -176	 -2.2	 -150	-1.3
  At home				-0.7	  -111	 -2.4	   90	 1.5
  Away from home			-1.9	   -66	 -2.0	 -241	-4.5
 Housing				 0.4	   221	  1.2   1,196	 4.0
 Apparel and services			 1.4	  -254	-12.0	 -296	-8.8
 Transportation				-1.3	  -641	 -5.6	  516	 3.2
 Healthcare				 0.4	   217	  5.2	  -30	-0.5
 Entertainment				-2.9	   -64	 -2.2	 -311	-5.7
 Cash contributions			-0.5	   -94	 -4.3	 -109	-2.6
 Personal insurance and pensions	-3.5	   -84	 -1.3	  -91	-0.6
 All other expenditures			-8.6	  -264	 -7.2	 -853  -11.2

Tables and data

Consumer Expenditure Survey data include the expenditures and income of 
consumers, as well as the demographic characteristics of those consumers. 
Tables with more expenditure detail are available at 
Published tables provide 2013 CE data by standard classifications that include 
income quintile, income class, age of reference person, size of consumer unit, 
number of earners, composition of consumer unit, region of residence, housing 
tenure, type of area (urban-rural), race, Hispanic origin, occupation, and 
highest education level of any member. These annual tables include means, 
shares, and standard errors. Other tables available on the website include 
expenditures by age, region, size, or gender cross-tabulated by income before 
taxes and other demographic variables. Historical tables back to 1984 and 
tabulations for selected metropolitan areas are also available.

A forthcoming Annual Report will include a brief discussion of expenditure 
changes in 2013 and tables with data classified by the standard characteristics 
that are included on the website. Future articles in the BLS Beyond the Numbers 
web report series will highlight recent trends in prices and spending in the 
U.S. economy, and will feature 2013 CE data. Recent CE-specific Beyond the 
Numbers articles provide analyses of topical economic issues and long term 
spending trends, as well as comparisons of CE data to other 
data series (see

Other survey information available on the Internet includes answers to 
frequently asked questions, a glossary, order forms for survey products, 
and analytical articles that use CE data. Also available are the Diary Survey 
questionnaire form and a modified version of the computer assisted personal 
Interview (CAPI) instrument used to collect the Interview Survey data.
The 2013 CE public-use microdata, including Interview Survey data, Diary Survey 
data, and paradata (information about the survey process), are available on the 
CE website for free electronic download. The Interview files contain expenditure 
data in two different formats: MTBI files that present monthly values in an 
item-coding framework based on the CPI pricing scheme, and EXPN files that 
organize expenditures by the section of the Interview questionnaire in which 
they are collected. Expenditure values on EXPN files cover different time 
periods depending on the specific questions asked, and the files also contain 
relevant non-expenditure information not found on the MTBI files. The 
public-use microdata for 2013 also includes the new estimates of state and 
federal tax liabilities.  The CE introduced these estimates to improve the 
quality of the surveyed tax liabilities, which suffered from low response 
rates. The surveyed tax data will be available for 2013, after which it will 
no longer be collected. Past releases of CE public-use microdata that were 
previously only available on USB Flash Drives for purchase will become available 
on the CE website for free download. The 2002 to 2012 releases are already 
available online. Prior releases will be posted incrementally online in reverse 
chronological order through the 1996 release. For releases prior to 1996 and 
those not yet available online, users can continue to purchase USB Flash Drives 
using the public-use microdata order form (see 
Future releases of public-use microdata will be available online for free download.
For further information, contact the Division of Consumer Expenditure Survey, 
Office of Prices and Living Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, DC  20212-0001 or call (202) 691-6900; 
E-mail: Information in this release is available to 
sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; 
Federal Relay Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.

1 Consumer units include families, single persons living alone or sharing a
  household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons
  living together who share expenses.

2 Net outlays subtract the value of any vehicle trade-ins, in order to capture the
  out-of-pocket expenditures on vehicles.

Last Modified Date: September 09, 2014