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February 25, 2011

US Consumers Spending : Trends and Insights

Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers 84,000 prices in about 200 categories — like gasoline, bananas, dresses and garbage collection — to form the Consumer Price Index, one measure of inflation. It’s among the statistics that the Federal Reserve considered when it cut interest rates on Wednesday. The categories are weighted according to an estimate of what the average American spends, as shown below.

Source : Nytimes





An Average Consumer's Spending


Each shape below represents how much the average American spends in different categories.

Larger shapes make up a larger part of spendin


The average consumer has a budget that is split into a large number of monthly and yearly spending. The average consumer spends $49,638 a year on a range of necessary and desired expenditures. These expenditures come out of an annual household income of $63,091 per year on average, before taxes. The average consumer owns 1.9 vehicles, and 67 percent of them are homeowners with loans. Households average 2.5 people and 1.3 earners reside in each.

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The largest expenditure of the average household is housing. This takes up an average 34.1 percent of the yearly budget of households.

The second largest expenditure for the average consumer is transportation. The cost of vehicles purchased is an average of $3,244 per year, making it 6.5 percent of the average budget.

Another large expenditure is healthcare. The average consumer spends $2,853 on healthcare each year. Another physical necessity, food, costs consumers an average of $6,133 per year. An average of $3,465 of that is spent on food that is consumed at home, and $2,668 of it is spent on food consumed away from home. Combines, the money spent on food is 12.4 percent of the entire yearly household budget.

Insurance and pensions are important financial considerations and they cost the average consumer $5,336 per year. This is a total of 10.8 percent of the annual budget. $5,027 f this, 10.1 percent of the yearly budget, is spent on social security and pension contributions. In addition, the average consumer pays an average of $309 each year, making up 0.6 of the annual budget.

Source :Visual Economics: