September 29, 2011
Average annual expenditures per consumer unit fell 2.0 percent in 2010, following a decrease of 2.8 percent in 2009. While spending fell in 2010, prices for goods and services increased 1.6 percent from 2009 to 2010, as measured by the average annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).
Contributing to an overall drop in spending from 2009 to 2010, spending on housing and transportation (the largest components of consumers' budgets) fell 3.8 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
Among the other major components for which spending decreased from 2009 to 2010, entertainment fell 7.0 percent, cash contributions dropped 5.2 percent, personal insurance and pensions decreased 1.8 percent, and apparel and services fell 1.4 percent.
From 2009 to 2010, healthcare (+1.0 percent) and transportation (+0.2 percent) were the only major components of spending to increase.
These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see "Consumer Expenditures — 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1395. 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.