PRICES & SPENDING   •  May 2017  •  Volume 6 / Number 5

Use with caution: interpreting Consumer Expenditure income group data

Use with caution: interpreting Consumer Expenditure income group data

This Beyond the Numbers article examines assumptions users often make regarding how the CE measures household wealth, by providing examples of the nuances in the data and composition of five household groupings. The examples provide a clearer snapshot of economic well-being found in the income quintiles.

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How do United States consumer expenditures compare with the United Kingdom and Japan?

In 2014, U.S. consumers spent almost 19 percent of every dollar on transportation, which is 87 percent higher than what Japan spent. U.S. households also spent about 9 percent on out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures, which was 5 times higher than the U.K. Expenditure shares are the percentages of total expenditures allotted to each spending category. Japan’s share of food expenditures was the highest among the other two countries. The United States had increases in expenditures shares of transportation and healthcare.
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The cost of crisis: why stock fees rise when markets slip

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Below trend: the U.S. productivity slowdown since the Great Recession

In the span of just six quarters between 2007 and 2009, nonfarm business output declined by $753 billion and 8.1 million jobs were lost. This period, known as the Great Recession, was the worst American recession since the Great Depression.
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