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Household spending up 4.8 percent in 2017

September 21, 2018

Average expenditures per consumer unit for 2017 were $60,060, a 4.8-percent increase from 2016 levels. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) rose 2.1 percent, and average pretax incomes decreased by 1.5 percent.

Average annual expenditures of all consumer units, selected categories, 2015–2017
Expense 2015 2016 2017 Percent change,
2015–2016
Percent change,
2016–2017

Food at home

$4,015 $4,049 $4,363 0.8% 7.8%

Food away from home

3,008 3,154 3,365 4.9 6.7

Owned housing

6,210 6,295 6,947 1.4 10.4

Rented housing

3,802 4,035 4,167 6.1 3.3

Apparel and services

1,846 1,803 1,833 -2.3 1.7

Vehicle purchases

3,997 3,634 4,054 -9.1 11.6

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

2,090 1,909 1,968 -8.7 3.1

Health insurance

2,977 3,160 3,414 6.1 8.0

Entertainment

2,842 2,913 3,203 2.5 10.0

Personal care products and services

683 707 762 3.5 7.8

Education

1,315 1,329 1,491 1.1 12.2

Cash contributions

1,819 2,081 1,873 14.4 -10.0

Pensions and Social Security

6,016 6,509 6,353 8.2 -2.4

All other expenditures

1,847 1,897 2,010 2.7 6.0

Eight of the 10 largest components of household spending increased during 2017. The 12.2-percent rise in education spending was the largest percentage increase among all major components, followed by a 10.0-percent rise in entertainment.

Consumers spent an annual average of $4,363 on food at home in 2017, up 7.8 percent from 2016. Consumers spent an average of $3,414 on health insurance in 2017, an increase of 8.0 percent.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. To learn more, see “Consumer Expenditures — 2017.” 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.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Household spending up 4.8 percent in 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/household-spending-up-4-point-8-percent-in-2017.htm (visited October 25, 2020).

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