The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) program consists of two surveys, the Quarterly Interview Survey and the Diary Survey, that provide information on the buying habits of America's consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics. The survey data are collected for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The CE is important because it is the only Federal survey to provide information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes, as well as the characteristics of those consumers. It is used by economic policymakers examining the impact of policy changes on economic groups, by the Census Bureau as the source of thresholds for the Supplemental Poverty Measure, by businesses and academic researchers studying consumers' spending habits and trends, by other Federal agencies, and, perhaps most importantly, to regularly revise the Consumer Price Index market basket of goods and services and their relative importance.
The most recent data tables are for 2015, and were made available on August 30, 2016. See Featured CE Tables and Economic News Releases sections on the CE home page for current data tables and news release.
The 2015 public-use microdata is the most recent and was released on August 30, 2016.
- On October 14, the Consumer Expenditure Survey program will present a workshop at the International Atlantic Economic Conference (Washington, DC). Attendees will receive "hands-on" training in use of tabular and microdata. For details, see http://www.bls.gov/cex/ceconferences.htm ("Northeast"). For training materials, click here: ZIP
- NEW The 2015 Midyear Generation Table covering July 2014 through June 2015 is now available. (XLSX)
- NEW The agenda for the 2016 CE Microdata Users' Workshop is now available. (PDF)
- NEW The agenda for the 2016 CE Survey Methods Symposium is now available. (PDF)
- NEW Monthly Labor Review article on the 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey Methods Symposium and Microdata User's Workshop. (HTML) (PDF)
- NEW Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Survey 2015 is now available. (HTML)
- NEW Using gasoline data to explain inelasticity (HTML) (PDF)
- NEW A closer look at spending patterns of older Americans (HTML) (PDF)
- NEW BLS Handbook of Methods, Consumer Expenditures and Income Chapter
- NEW Expenditures on cellular phone services have increased significantly since 2007 (HTML) (PDF)
- Consumer expenditures vary by age (HTML) (PDF)
- Experimental Research Tables from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (HTML)
- 2014 Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds Based on Consumer Expenditure Survey Data (HTML)
- Standard Errors in the 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey (PDF)
- Consumer spending in World War II: the forgotten consumer expenditure surveys. (HTML) (PDF)
- Comparison of BLS Price and Spending Measures (HTML)
- USDA August 2014 Report on the Cost of Raising a Child, based on CE survey data (PDF)
CE is Coming to Your Town!
As part of ongoing outreach efforts, CE staff attend conferences outside the Washington, DC area when circumstances permit. You may be interested in attending their presentations, or in arranging for a CE staff member to visit your organization. To see a list of upcoming or past events, click on the links below.
Methods of Contact
The economists and administrative personnel of the Consumer Expenditure Survey staff are
available Monday through Friday to respond to inquiries. Please use any of the
methods below to contact the CE National Office. Inquiries should include your name, and phone number, fax number, mailing address, or
e-mail address, along with a brief message.
Incoming calls are connected to the office's voice mail and answered promptly.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Consumer Expenditure Surveys — Branch of Information and Analysis
Postal Square Building, Room 3985
2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20212-0001