October 16, 1998
Average annual expenditures per consumer unit rose 4.8 percent in 1996, the largest increase since 1989. Expenditures had risen 1.7 percent in 1995 and 3.4 percent in 1994. The 4.8-percent increase in expenditures from 1995 to 1996 was larger than the 3.0 percent rise in the annual average Consumer Price Index over the same period.
The 13.8-percent increase for expenditures on entertainment was the highest, and far exceeded the 2.9-percent increase for entertainment expenditures reported in 1995. Consumer units spent an average of $1,834 on entertainment expenses in 1996.
The next largest increases were in expenditures for transportation (6.1 percent) and for food (4.3 percent). The transportation increase was driven by a 6.7-percent rise in consumer expenditures for vehicle purchases (specifically used cars and trucks), while increased spending on food away from home (7.1 percent) fed the rise in food expenditures.
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. For detailed data, see Consumer Expenditure Survey: Standard Bulletin Tables. For a summary of 1996 consumer expenditures, see news release USDL 98-415, Consumer Expenditures in 1996.