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Consumer expenditures in 2008

October 08, 2009

Average annual expenditures per consumer unit, which is similar to a household, rose 1.7 percent in 2008 after increasing 2.6 percent in 2007. The spending increase in 2008 was less than the 3.8-percent increase in prices from 2007 to 2008 as measured by the average annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).

Percent change in average annual expenditures of all consumer units, 2004–2008
[Chart data]

The increase in spending in 2008 was the smallest increase since the 0.3-percent rise in 2003.

Increases in spending for housing (1.1 percent) and food (5.1 percent) were somewhat offset by decreases in spending for transportation (-1.8 percent) and apparel (-4.3 percent), resulting in the small overall increase in 2008. Among the other major components, spending increased for health care (4.3 percent), personal insurance and pensions (5.0 percent), and entertainment (5.1 percent).

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Find out more in "Consumer Expenditures — 2008" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-1208. 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.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer expenditures in 2008 at (visited July 15, 2024).

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