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[Excerpt] Consumer spending increased for the first time in three years based on 2011 data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). Consumer units’ (CUs) average annual expenditures increased from $48,109 in 2010 to $49,705 in 2011. This 3.3-percent rise followed a 4.8-percent drop from 2008 to 2010. Even with the increase, spending is still below the 2008 level of $50,486. The rise in expenditures in 2011 was due in part to a rise in incomes from 2010 to 2011 and the effect of inflation on prices paid by consumers. Average annual income before taxes increased 1.9 percent from $62,481 in 2010 to $63,685 in 2011. The average 2011 income was just $122 higher than the average income in 2008. 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 3.2 percent in 2011, just below the 3.3-percent increase in spending. In 2010, prices increased by just 1.6 percent. The remainder of this report highlights consumer spending patterns for 2011 from the CE.


Suggested Citation
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Consumer expenditures in 2011 (BLS Report No. 1042). Washington, D.C.: Author.