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Majority of components of household spending decreased in 2013

September 11, 2014

From 2012 to 2013, most of the major components of household spending decreased. The largest declines occurred in the all other expenditures component (-8.2 percent).  This category includes alcoholic beverages, education, miscellaneous, personal care products, reading, and tobacco products, all of which showed decreases. 


Average annual expenditures of all consumer units, net and percent change by household spending component, 2013
Component Total expenditures in 2013 Net change from 2012 to 2013 Percent change from 2012 to 2013


$51,100 -$342 -0.7%


17,148 261 1.5


9,004 6 0.1


6,602 3 0.0

Personal insurance and pensions

5,528 -63 -1.1


3,631 75 2.1


2,482 -123 -4.7

Cash contributions

1,834 -79 -4.1

Apparel and Services

1,604 -132 -7.6

All other expenditures

3,267 -290 -8.2

In 2013, apparel spending continued to decline, decreasing 7.6 percent over the year. The decrease was widespread across most of the subcategories, including drops in spending for both men and boys clothing and women and girls clothing (-8.3 percent and -7.6 percent, respectively).  Entertainment spending decreased 4.7 percent. Cash contributions decreased 4.1 percent, largely attributed to decreases in contributions to charities and contributions to church and religious organizations (-9.1 percent and -4.8 percent, respectively).

The only major components of household spending to increase from 2012 to 2013 were healthcare (2.1 percent), housing (1.5 percent), and transportation (0.1 percent).

Expenditures on food were essentially unchanged from 2012 to 2013.  Expenditures on food at home increased 1.4 percent while those on food away from home decreased 2.0 percent. Transportation expenditures were also essentially unchanged, due to lower gasoline spending being offset by a 1.9-percent increase in vehicle expenditures.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see "Consumer Expenditures — 2013" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-1671. 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, Majority of components of household spending decreased in 2013 at (visited July 22, 2024).

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