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Spending on Housing and Transportation Fell in 2009


Bureau of Labor Statistics

Spending on housing and transportation (the largest components of consumers’ budgets) fell 1.3 percent and 11.0 percent, respectively, contributing to an overall drop in spending in 2009. Healthcare expenditures rose 5.0 percent, the only increase among the major components of spending.

Among the other major components, food expenditures dropped 1.1 percent (food at home increased by 0.2, while food away from home decreased 2.9 percent), apparel fell 4.2 percent, entertainment dropped 5.0 percent, and personal insurance and pensions fell 2.4 percent.

Overall, average annual expenditures per consumer unit—which were $50,486 in 2008 and $49,067 in 2009—fell 2.8 percent in 2009. This was the first time there has been a drop in spending from the previous year since the Consumer Expenditure Survey began publishing integrated data in 1984 from the Diary and Interview components of the survey.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

people have to save where they can, times are hard (but improving)