Strictly speaking, expenditure takes place when goods are purchased, while consumption may take place over several years. For example, the benefit derived from a car or television is enjoyed (consumed) over several years. In practice it is hard to measure consumption and the term is used loosely to mean expenditure. Thus consumer expenditure, personal expenditure and private consumption are all the same thing.
Spending by consumers accounts for between half and two-thirds of GDP in most countries. Hence a 1% rise in consumer expenditure contributes to around a 0.6% increase in total GDP all else being equal, which it rarely is of course. In particular some of the extra consumer spending will go into higher imports.
Major influences on the level of consumption include the following:
- Incomes. In general higher personal incomes allow more spending.
- Price expectations. Experience shows that consumers tend to save more (and spend less) during periods of high inflation. They may bring spending forward, however, if they expect a one-off increase in prices because of inflation or higher indirect (sales) taxes.
- Interest rates. Higher interest rates push up the cost of existing loans and discourage borrowing and, perhaps, encourage savings, all of which depress spending. Nevertheless higher interest rates also redistribute income from young mortgage payers to their elders whose deposits are greater than their borrowings and who may spend their additional interest income.
- Consumer credit. Easier consumer credit may encourage borrowing, which translates directly into higher spending.
- Wealth. A rise in asset values, such as share or house prices, may make consumers feel wealthier and inclined to spend more.
- Stock level and price of durables. Consumers tend to regard durables such as cars and electrical appliances as wealth. A sudden end to a period of restricted supply of durables as in eastern Germany in 1990, or a fall in their prices, may encourage a temporary consumer boom. This may set up replacement cycles, with bouts of spending on durables every few years.
- Social factors. These may encourage saving to allow bequests or retirement spending.
Data are from the CD-ROM: World Development Indicators 2000
This is also called personal consumption or consumer expenditure. Consumer expenditure is personal (mainly household) spending on goods and services. Thus it includes imputed rents on owner-occupied dwellings; and administrative costs of life assurance and pension funds. It excludes interest payments; the purchase of land and buildings; transfers abroad; all business expenditure; and spending on second-hand goods, which reflects a transfer of ownership rather than new production.
Million Constant 1995 US$
GEO Data Category:
Consumption, Private consumption, household final consumption expenditure, Total, regional level
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GIS Data Info
Statistics Data Info
The data is only aggregated if at least 75 % of the observations are available (i.e. % of population or % of area or % of countries) on an annual basis.
The value "-9999" corresponds to "No Data".
Several values are calculated by extrapolations and interpolations; they are exclusively used for the regional/subregional and global aggregations.
Calculated pre 1991-1992 relative country share
Former Yugoslavia SFR:
Data for China do not include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Household final consumption expenditure (private consumption) is the market value of all goods and services, including durable products (such as cars, washing machines, and home computers), purchased by households. It excludes purchases of dwellings but includes imputed rent for owner-occupied dwellings. It also includes payments and fees to governments to obtain permits and licenses. Here, household consumption expenditure includes the expenditures of nonprofit institutions serving households, even when reported separately by the country.
The national accounts indicators for most developing countries are collected from national statistical organizations and central banks by visiting and resident World Bank missions. Data for high-income economies come from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data files (see the OECD’s National Accounts, 1988–1998, volumes 1 and 2). The United Nations Statistics Division publishes detailed national accounts for United Nations member countries in National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables and publishes updates in the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.
Copyright c 2002 (Aggregations) United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva.
Data aggregation made by Andrea DeBono and Ola Nordbeck (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva).