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Distribution of U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures for 2019: A Prototype Based on Consumer Expenditure Survey Data

Thesia I. Garner, Robert S. Martin, Brett Matsumoto, and Scott Curtin


We create a prototype procedure to allocate aggregate U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) across consumer units in the U.S. This allocation is based on data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). Since the CE collects data on out-of-pocket spending, to match PCE definitions, we assigned administrative and other household survey data for health expenditures to consumer units to reflect the full value of benefits received. Preliminary results for 2019 are that out of the total PCE (excluding expenditures by non-profits serving households), the bottom 10% accounted for 3.7%, while the top 10% accounted for 24.0%. The 90/10 ratio for equivalized PCE is 3.4, and the Gini coefficient is 0.28.