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Economic News Release
CE CES Program Links

Consumer Expenditures Survey Midyear Update News Release

For release: 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, March 27, 2013 USDL-13-0541

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

                         THROUGH JUNE 2012 AVERAGE

Average expenditures per consumer unit(1)  for July 2011 through June 2012 were 
1.9 percent higher than the 2011 annual average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics reported today. This gradual rise in spending continued the 
increase reported for all of 2011.

All major components of household spending except apparel increased over the 
12 months ending in June 2012 compared to the 2011 annual average, as shown in 
table A. The 6.3-percent rise in cash contributions (including payments for 
support of college students, alimony and child support, and giving to 
charities and religious organizations) was the largest percentage increase 
among all major components. This was followed by a 4.6-percent increase in 
health care spending. Other spending highlights include 2.6-percent increases 
in both transportation and personal insurance and pensions, modest increases 
in food (+1.1 percent) and housing (+0.8 percent), no change in entertainment 
(0.0 percent), and a small drop in apparel and services spending 
(-0.6 percent). Average incomes also continued to rise.

Table A. Average expenditures and characteristics of all consumer units and 
percent changes, 2010 through June 2012
                                                           Percent change
                          2010*     2011   July 2011-              2011 Annual
                         Annual    Annual  June 2012   2010-2011  to July 2011-
Item                    Average   Average   Average      Annual    June 2012
Income before taxes     $62,481   $63,685   $65,132       1.9         2.3
Average annual 
  expenditures	         48,109    49,705    50,631       3.3         1.9
Food                      6,129     6,458     6,532       5.4         1.1
Housing                  16,557    16,803    16,940       1.5         0.8
Apparel and services      1,700     1,740     1,730       2.4        -0.6
Transportation            7,677     8,293     8,505       8.0         2.6
Health care               3,157     3,313     3,466       4.9         4.6
Entertainment             2,504     2,572     2,573       2.7         0.0
Cash contributions        1,633     1,721     1,829       5.4         6.3
Personal insurance and
  pensions                5,373     5,424     5,565       0.9         2.6
All other expenditures    3,379     3,381     3,489       0.1         3.2
*Midyear data prior to July 2011 - June 2012 are not available.

   |                                                                         |
   |                 Consumer Expenditures New Midyear Data                  |
   |                                                                         |
   | This news release contains the first midyear update of consumer         |
   | expenditure data and covers 12 months of expenditures for the last 6    |
   | months of 2011 and the first 6 months of 2012. It includes overlapping  |
   | expenditures from July 2011-December 2011 that were previously included |
   | in the annual 2011 tables and adds information from January 2012-June   |
   | 2012. As this midyear 2012 update involves new methods of data          |
   | processing, previous midyear data are not available for comparison.     |

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.
Spending by selected demographics

Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data measure how consumers allocate their 
spending among the various components of total expenditures. For example, 
table B compares the share allocated to selected expenditures by 
income quintiles. As in previous time periods, the lowest income quintile 
allocated larger shares to food and housing than the other quintiles. The 
highest income group allocated a larger share to personal insurance and 
pensions (including payments for life insurance, other nonhealth insurance, 
pensions, and Social Security) than any other group. No clear pattern existed 
for the shares allocated to transportation and health care among the income 
quintile groups.

Table B. Shares of average expenditures on selected major components by income 
quintiles, July 2011 through June 2012
                                 Lowest    Second    Third    Fourth    Highest
            Item                   20        20        20       20        20
                                percent   percent   percent   percent   percent
Food                               15.8      14.2      13.2      13.4      11.4
Housing                            40.0      38.0      35.5      32.4      30.2
Transportation                     14.6      16.3      17.9      18.1      16.2
Health care                         7.3       8.2       8.0       7.0       5.7
Personal insurance & pensions       2.1       5.3       8.3      11.1      16.0

Spending patterns, 2010 through June 2012

Table C shows amounts spent for selected expenditure components from 2010 
through June 2012. Earlier spending trends continued into the new time period. 
Spending changes included:

    Mortgage interest and charges for owned homes, a subcomponent of housing, 
     fell from $3,351 on average in 2010 to $3,153 for July 2011 through June 
    Natural gas expenditures continued falling from $440 in 2010 to $420 in 
     2011 and then to $377 for July 2011 through June 2012. 
    Expenditures on gasoline and motor oil continued rising during the same 
     period, increasing from the annual average of $2,132 in 2010 to $2,655 in 
     2011 to $2,706 for July 2011 through June 2012.
    Health care spending rose from $3,313 in 2011 to $3,466 for July 2011 
     through June 2012. All the subcomponents of health care--health 
     insurance, medical services, drugs, and medical supplies--continued 
     gradually increasing during the period. The level of spending for health 
     care has increased every year starting in 1996.
    Cash contributions, which include payments for support of college 
     students, alimony and child support, and giving to charities and 
     religious organizations, continued to increase. 

Table C. Average consumer expenditures for selected components, 2010 through 
June 2012
                                                 2010*      2011    July 2011-
                                                Annual     Annual   June 2012
Item                                           Average    Average    Average
Mortgage interest and charges                   $3,351     $3,184     $3,153
Natural gas                                        440        420        377
Gasoline and motor oil                           2,132      2,655      2,706
Health care                                      3,157      3,313      3,466
Cash contributions                               1,633      1,721      1,829
*Midyear data prior to July 2011 - June 2012 are not available.

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 Newly 
published tables provide July 2011 through June 2012 average 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 education. In addition, 
these new mid-year update tables now include shares of expenditures and 
standard error. These tables include overlapping expenditures from July 
through December 2011 previously included in annual 2011 tables published 
September 2012. The midyear tables add spending information from January 
through June 2012 while dropping the January through June 2011 expenditures.
Other available data

A soon-to-be released Annual Report will include a brief discussion of 
expenditure changes in 2011 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 CE data. Recent CE-specific 
articles provide analyses of topical economic issues and long term spending 
trends, as well as comparisons of CE data to other data series (see and Additional methodological and 
analytical articles using CE data will be published in 2013. All data 
published in the Annual Report and posted to the website are integrated from 
the two CE components--the quarterly Interview Survey and weekly Diary Survey. 

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 2010 and 2011 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: MTAB 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 
MTAB files. 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 for download, users can continue to purchase 
CDs using the public-use microdata order form (see All future releases of public-use 
microdata will solely be available online for free electronic download. 

Annual public-use microdata covering an entire calendar year will continue to 
be released in September, and will not be released on a rolling half-year 

The annual CE Microdata Users' Workshop and Survey Methods Symposium will be 
held July 16-19, 2013 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics national office. 
Registration is free. More information and the registration form are available 

For further information, contact the Division of Consumer Expenditure Survey, 
Office of Prices and Living Conditions at (202) 691-6900 or by email at Information in this release will be made available to sensory 
impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay 
Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.

Last Modified Date: March 27, 2013