Consumer spending patterns, 2008–2010
October 06, 2011
Amounts spent for selected expenditure components varied over the 3-year period from 2008 to 2010.
Spending changes included:
- Mortgage interest and charges for owned homes, a subcomponent of housing, fell from $3,826 in 2008 to $3,351 in 2010.
- The increase in healthcare spending, from $2,976 in 2008 to $3,157 in 2010, was driven by the 10.8-percent increase in health insurance spending over the period, although the increase in health insurance from 2009 to 2010 was small (+2.6 percent). The level of spending for both healthcare and health insurance has increased on a year-to-year basis for well over a decade.
- Food away from home spending steadily decreased from $2,698 in 2008 to $2,505 in 2010.
- Expenditures on gasoline and motor oil varied widely during the period, decreasing 26.9 percent from 2008 to 2009 and then increasing 7.4 percent from 2009 to 2010. The fluctuations can partly be explained by the yearly price of gasoline falling in 2009 (-27.4 percent) and then rising again in 2010 (+18.4 percent), as measured by the CPI-U.
- Cash contributions, which include payments to charities and religious organizations, fell 6.0 percent from 2008 to 2010.
These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see "Consumer Expenditures — 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1395. 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.
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