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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), Friday, April 15, 2016     USDL-16-0749

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

                  THROUGH JUNE 2015 AVERAGE

Average expenditures per consumer unit (1) for July 2014 through June
2015 were up 5.9 percent compared with the July 2013 through June 2014 
midyear average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. 
Average incomes also increased, up 6.6 percent.  

All major components of household spending, with the exception of cash
contributions,increased over the 12 months ending June 2015.(See table A.) 
The 19.2-percent rise in education spending was the largest percentage 
increase among all major components, followed by a 12.6-percent rise in 
apparel and services spending and an 11.7-percent increase in healthcare

Table A. Average expenditures and income of all consumer units
                                                           Percent change      
                             July 2013-    July 2014-   July 2013 - June 2014
Item                         June 2014-    June 2015-            to
                              Average       Average     July 2014 - June 2015
---------------------------------------    ----------   ---------------------
Income before taxes           $64,432       $68,662              6.6
Average annual expenditures    51,933        54,992              5.9
  Food                          6,665         6,887              3.3
  Housing                      17,377        18,128              4.3
  Apparel and services          1,674         1,885             12.6
  Transportation                9,104         9,315              2.3
   Vehicle purchases            3,353         3,723             11.0          
   Gasoline                     2,379         2,094            -12.0 
  Healthcare                    3,919         4,379             11.7
   Health insurance             2,505         2,972             18.6
  Entertainment                 2,560         2,782              8.7
  Education                     1,143         1,362             19.2
  Cash contributions            1,790         1,761             -1.6
  Personal insurance and        5,551         6,048              9.0
  All other expenditures        2,150         2,445             13.7
Note: Subcategories do not sum to 100%.

Spending patterns, July 2014 – June 2015 compared with July 2013 – June 2014

•       Transportation expenditures edged up 2.3 percent to $9,315. Within
        transportation, two underlying components moved considerably in 
        opposite directions, vehicle purchases up 11.0 percent and gasoline
        down 12.0 percent.   

•       Healthcare spending rose 11.7 percent to $4,379 for July 2014 
	through June 2015. The level of spending for healthcare has 
	increased every year annually from 1996 through 2014(2). The most 
	recent increase was driven by an 18.6-percent increase in average 
	household health insurance expenditures. This increase was due to 
	both additional consumer units reporting quarterly health insurance 
	expenditures, up over 3 percentage points from the previous midyear 
	period, and higher expenditures by those reporting health insurance 
•       Apparel and services spending increased 12.6 percent to $1,885, 
	after falling 1.9 percent during the previous midyear period. 
	Increases were seen across all components of this category: men and 
	boys, women and girls, children under 2, footwear, and other apparel 
	products and services. 

•       Education spending increased 19.2 percent to $1,362. The rise was
        driven by increases in spending on college tuition and finance 
        charges for student loans.      
•       Categories of entertainment and personal insurance and pensions 
	expenditures increased 8.7 percent and 9.0 percent respectively, 
	reversing declines of the previous midyear period.

Spending by selected demographics

Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data measure how consumers allocate their
spending among the various components of total expenditures. Table B 
compares the share allocated to selected expenditures by income quintiles. 
The lowest income quintile allocated larger shares to food and housing 
than all other quintiles. The highest income quintile 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 healthcare among the income quintile groups.

Table B. Shares of average expenditures on selected major components by
income quintiles, July 2014 through June 2015
                                      Income quintiles
                  Lowest      Second      Third       Fourth      Highest
Item               20th        20th        20th        20th        20th
                  percent    percent     percent     percent      percent
Food               15.7        14.3        12.7        12.5        11.2
Housing            40.0        36.4        34.2        32.0        30.3
Transportation     14.5        17.1        18.9        18.4        15.8
Healthcare          7.3        10.0         9.0         8.5         6.7
Personal insurance  2.2         5.0         8.3        11.5        15.8
 & pensions

Table C shows expenditures and income before taxes by quintile from July
2013 through June 2015. All quintiles showed increases in both
average annual expenditures and in income before taxes across the 12 
months ending June 2015. 

Table C. Percent change in average annual expenditures and income before
taxes by income quintile   
                    Average annual expenditures            Income before taxes    
                 July 2013-   July 2014-     Percent    July 2013-  July 2014-    Percent
Income quintile  June 2014    June 2015      change     June 2014   June 2015      change
----------------------------  ----------     --------   ----------  ----------    -------
Lowest 20th       $22,981      $24,455         6.4        $9,818     $10,666         8.6
Second 20th        32,778       34,645         5.7        26,369      27,711         5.1
Third 20th         43,739       45,546         4.1        45,724      48,661         6.4
Fourth 20th        59,250       62,912         6.2        74,410      79,773         7.2
Highest 20th      100,979      107,424         6.4       166,048     176,583         6.3

Other available data

Standard CE midyear tables can be found at Data tables with the most detailed 
subcategories of expenditures can be obtained by sending a request to 

The 2014 Annual Report, "Consumer Expenditures in 2014," which will be 
available in June, will include a brief discussion of expenditure changes 
in 2014 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 2016. 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, 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 1996 through 2014 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. For releases prior to 1996, users 
can continue to purchase USB flash drives using the public-use microdata order 
form (see 

The 2015 Annual News Release, data tables, and public-use microdata are 
planned for release at the end of August 2016. Public-use microdata will not 
be released on a rolling half-year basis.  

The annual CE Microdata Users' Workshop and Survey Methods Symposium will be
held July 12-15, 2016 at the BLS national office. Registration is free. More 
information and the registration form are available at

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.

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 A change in interview collection methods for health insurance occurred 
  for 2014 data. For details, please see the previous news release

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Table of Contents 

Last Modified Date: April 15, 2016

Last Modified Date: April 24, 2016