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Household spending on personal insurance and pensions increased the most from 2017 to 2018

September 13, 2019

Average expenditures per consumer unit for 2018 were $61,224, a 1.9-percent increase from 2017 levels. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) rose 2.4 percent, and average pretax incomes increased by 6.9 percent. From 2017 to 2018, a 7.8-percent increase in personal insurance and pensions expenditures was the largest percentage increase among all major components. This compared with a decrease of 0.9 percent from 2016 to 2017.

 Percent change in average annual expenditures of all consumer units, selected categories, 2016–18

Expense

Percent change, 2017–18

Percent change, 2016–17

2016

2017

2018

Food at home

2.3% 7.8% $4,049 $4,363 $4,464

Food away from home

2.8 6.7 3,154 3,365 3,459

Owned housing

-3.9 10.4 6,295 6,947 6,678

Rented housing

2.0 3.3 4,035 4,167 4,249

Apparel and services

1.8 1.7 1,803 1,833 1,866

Vehicle purchases

-1.9 11.6 3,634 4,054 3,975

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

7.2 3.1 1,909 1,968 2,109

Health insurance

-0.3 8.0 3,160 3,414 3,405

Entertainment

0.7 10.0 2,913 3,203 3,226

Personal care products and services

0.8 7.8 707 762 768

Education

-5.6 12.2 1,329 1,491 1,407

Cash contributions

0.8 -10.0 2,081 1,873 1,888

Personal insurance and pensions

7.8 -0.9 6,831 6,771 7,296

All other expenditures

0.0 6.0 1,897 2,010 2,030

From 2017 to 2018, the only percentage decrease among the largest components was a 5.6-percent decrease in education spending. This compared with a 12.2-percent increase in spending from 2016 to 2017. Spending on food at home (2.3 percent) and food away from home (2.8 percent) both increased from 2017 to 2018. Spending on gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil increased 7.2 percent from 2017 to 2018. Spending on vehicles declined 1.9 percent, following an increase of 11.6 percent from 2016 to 2017. Spending on the largest component of healthcare, health insurance, was down 0.3 percent, following a 8.0-percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

Household spending increased for all five income groups, ranging from 1.5 percent for households in the lowest and highest top 20 percent of income to 2.5 percent for households in the middle 20 percent of income.

Percent change in average annual household spending for major components by income group, 2017–18

Expense

Lowest 20%

Second 20%

Middle 20%

Fourth 20%

Highest 20%

Total

1.5% 1.7% 2.5% 2.3% 1.5%

Food at home

4.9 -0.1 1.1 3.8 2.2

Food away from home

-5.9 8.3 -4.8 10.6 1.9

Housing

1.3 1.4 2.3 -0.1 0.8

Apparel and services

-14.7 2.2 12.7 2.5 1.3

Transportation

6.3 2.9 1.2 1.7 1.1

Healthcare

-0.7 2.8 -0.1 1.8 0.1

Entertainment

7.8 16.6 1.0 0.7 -5.2

Cash contributions

-2.6 -7.0 -10.6 -0.9 8.0

Personal insurance and pensions

9.3 -15.2 14.1 4.9 10.2

All other expenditures

-0.8 5.0 7.0 5.0 -8.6

Transportation spending rose for all income groups from 2017 to 2018, increasing the most for those in the lowest income group (6.3 percent). Household spending on food at home, housing, apparel and services, entertainment, and personal insurance and pensions increased in four of five income groups. Cash contributions decreased for all income groups except the highest income group, where cash contributions increased 8.0 percent.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. To learn more, see “Consumer Expenditures — 2018.” 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 on personal insurance and pensions increased the most from 2017 to 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/household-spending-on-personal-insurance-and-pensions-increased-the-most-from-2017-to-2018.htm (visited October 21, 2019).

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