Household spending rose in 2018

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics announced today that from 2017 to 2018, the only percentage decrease among the largest components was a 5.6-percent decrease in education spending. This compared with a 12.2-percent increase in spending from 2016 to 2017.

Spending on food at home (2.3 percent) and food away from home (2.8 percent) both increased from 2017 to 2018. Spending on gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil increased 7.2 percent from 2017 to 2018. Spending on vehicles declined 1.9 percent, following an increase of 11.6 percent from 2016 to 2017. Spending on the largest component of healthcare, health insurance, was down 0.3 percent, following a 8.0-percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

Household spending increased for all five income groups, ranging from 1.5 percent for households in the lowest and highest top 20 percent of income to 2.5 percent for households in the middle 20 percent of income.

Transportation spending rose for all income groups from 2017 to 2018, increasing the most for those in the lowest income group (6.3 percent). Household spending on food at home, housing, apparel and services, entertainment, and personal insurance and pensions increased in four of five income groups. Cash contributions decreased for all income groups except the highest income group, where cash contributions increased 8.0 percent.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. To learn more, see “Consumer Expenditures — 2018.” 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.