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Contact: SEATTLE REGIONAL OFFICE
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
Mr. Ralph J. Lee, Director
601 Union St., Ste 3800
Seattle, WA 98101-1074
SEATTLE — In July 2009, U.S. Census Bureau field representatives will collect information about how much Americans spend for groceries, clothing, transportation, housing, health care and other items from a sample of households across the country.
The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) program consists of two parts:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics then calculates and publishes integrated data from the two surveys -- providing a snapshot of our nation's economy and spending habits. Government economists use the survey results to update a "market basket" of goods and services for the Consumer Price Index, our nation's most widely used measure of inflation.
“The findings are invaluable to businesses and policymakers in our communities," said Ralph J. Lee, director of the Census Bureau's Seattle Regional Office. "They use the data to evaluate consumer needs and track changes in consumer spending.”
Before the CE interviews begin, households will receive a letter from the Census Bureau director informing them of their selection to participate in the survey. Census Bureau field representatives will visit these households to conduct the interview. The field representative must display an official photo identification before proceeding with the interview. Federal law ensures survey respondents' personal information and answers are kept confidential.
The following data on the amount spent on food are an example of CE results.
|Area||Average annual amount spent for food||Percentage of total expenditures|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics