March 28, 2000
Consumer units spent $35,535 on average in 1998, an increase of 2.1 percent over the previous year.
The 1998 increase was more moderate than either the 3.0-percent increase in 1997 or the 4.8-percent increase in 1998. The change in expenditures was slightly larger than the 1.6 percent annual average rise in general price levels over this period as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Changes in the major components of spending varied in 1998. Expenditures on personal insurance and pensions rose 4.9 percent, while housing expenditures increased 3.9 percent and health care expenditures were up 3.4 percent. Transportation expenditures moved up 2.5 percent and food expenditures rose by just 0.2 percent. Spending on entertainment and apparel decreased in 1998, by 3.7 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Find out more in "Consumer Expenditures in 1998," BLS Report 940.