December 24, 1998
Average annual expenditures per consumer unit rose at a moderate rate of 3.0 percent in 1997. This followed an increase of 4.8 percent in 1996. The increase in expenditures from 1996 to 1997 was slightly larger than the 2.3 percent rise in the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The highest percent increases in expenditures were reported in personal insurance and pensions (5.3 percent) and in housing (4.9 percent). Spending on health care increased 4 percent, while the 2.2 percent increase in food spending was largely driven by spending on food away from home.
Only two major components of spending reported decreases in 1997 — apparel and services (-1.3 percent) and entertainment (-1.1 percent). Entertainment expenditures had increased by 13.8 percent in 1996.
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. Additional information on 1997 expenditures may be found in news release USDL 98-482, "Consumer Expenditures in 1997."