Great Graphic: US Household Consumption

These Great Graphics were posted on The Atlantic by Derek Thompson  According to BLS data, the average American household increased its spending by $800 last year (to $51, 400).  The first chart shows how that money was spent.  Almost 2/3 (62%) was on transportation.  The blue bars, in order, are misc transportation, used vehicles and new vehicles. 

The yellow bar is for cash contributions, which Thompson defines as a "catch-all category that notably includes financial support for college students".  The pink bar on the left is for every thing else.  It accounted for $162 of the $800 of increased spending last year, or 20%.

Thompson looks closer at the new and used vehicles, which accounted for 44% of the increase in spending.  He draws on Motor Intelligence data for the second chart, which depicts the year-to-date spending on vehicles.  What is clearly shown is that the Americans are purchasing less cars and more trucks (minivans, small SUVs and cross-overs).  Domestic car sales are off 6% this year.   Domestic and imported truck sales are up 8% .

Thompson makes an interesting observation.  It turns out that where ever one falls in terms of income distribution,  American households typically spend about a sixth of their income on transportation.  Only 1/16 (~6%) of America's transportation spending is for public transit. 

Great Graphic: US Household Consumption Great Graphic:  US Household Consumption Reviewed by Marc Chandler on May 28, 2014 Rating: 5
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