Beyond the Numbers

PRICES & SPENDING   •  Jun 2014  •  Volume 3 / Number 15

How does consumer spending change during boom, recession, and recovery?

How does consumer spending change during boom, recession, and recovery?

The relative importances of items in the Consumer Price Index tell us how consumer purchases have changed over time.

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Recent articles

GLOBAL ECONOMY

Shrimp disease in Asia resulting in high U.S. import prices

Shrimp has become a popular purchase for American consumers, with U.S. consumption of shrimp reaching 3.8 pounds per person in 2012. Demand for shrimp has increased over the years, and shrimp is currently the largest imported seafood species, accounting for 29 percent of seafood imports by dollar value. In 2013, consumers and businesses found themselves paying higher prices with less product available in supermarkets and restaurants.
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SPECIAL STUDIES & RESEARCH

Do different groups invest differently in higher education?

On average, education accounts for about 2 percent of total annual expenditures by U.S. consumers, but this percentage varies greatly by demographic. Some groups appear to spend much more than others, so it is natural to question what causes these differences in spending. This Beyond the Numbers article looks at the amount of money invested in education by different race and ethnic groups and examines different factors that could contribute to these differences.
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PRODUCTIVITY

What can labor productivity tell us about the U.S. economy?

In 2013 U.S. workers worked the same number of hours as they had in 1998, but U.S. businesses managed to produced 42 percent more output in 2013 than they had in 1998. How did such a large amount of output happen? This issue of Beyond the Numbers provides an introduction to labor productivity and uses labor productivity data from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 to analyze cyclical changes in the economy.
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