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[Excerpt] Consumer spending increased by 3.5 percent, based on 2012 data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). This is the second consecutive year that expenditures increased after 3 consecutive years of declining expenditures. Consumer units’ (CUs) average annual expenditures increased from $49,705 in 2011 to $51,442 in 2012. With this increase, the 2012 level surpassed the 2008 spending level of $50,486. Most of the rise in expenditures in 2012 was due to a rise in incomes from 2011 to 2012. Average annual income before taxes increased 3.0 percent; from $63,685 in 2011 to $65,596 in 2012. This is much higher than the 1.9-percent increase in 2011. Prices, as measured by the average annual change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U, U.S. city average, all items) rose by 2.1 percent in 2012; far below the 3.5-percent increase in spending. In 2011, prices increased by 3.2 percent, which was close to the 3.3-percent increase in spending that year. The remainder of this report highlights consumer spending patterns for 2012 from the CE. (For more information on the Consumer Expenditure Survey, see the technical notes at the end of this report.)


Suggested Citation
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014). Consumer expenditures in 2012 (BLS Report No. 1046). Washington, D.C.: Author.