Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures
Robust and reliable measures of consumer expenditures are essential for analyzing aggregate economic activity and for measuring differences in household circumstances. Many countries, including the United States, are embarking on ambitious projects to redesign surveys of consumer expenditures, with the goal of better capturing economic heterogeneity. This is an opportune time to examine the way consumer expenditures are currently measured and the challenges and opportunities that alternative approaches might present. A comprehensive review of current methodologies for collecting consumer expenditure data, Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures highlights the range of different objectives that expenditure surveys may satisfy, compares the data available from consumer expenditure surveys with that from other sources, and describes how the United States’ current survey practices compare with those in other nations.