Bureau of Labor Statistics
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2014||Understanding the Relationship: CE Survey and PCE|
with Thesia I. Garner, Clinton McCully
in Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Christopher D. Carroll, Thomas F. Crossley, and John Sabelhaus, editors
There are two federal data series that refer to U.S. household expenditures. One uses the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), and the other personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Weights for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are based on CE data, but some suggest that PCE be used instead. Researchers have tried to reconcile differences in scope and definitions in the CE and PCE. We review these differences along with aggregate estimates resulting from accounting for them. However, to compare trends in CE and PCE over time, a concordance of comparable items in both surveys is desirable. Independent exercises by federal agencies have created three different concordances. Here we discuss one such concordance and highlight similarities and differences in the CE and PCE along with trends in ratios...