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Can you explain the difference between Consumer Expenditure and Retail Demand? Are they based on where the consumer lives or where they spend their money? For the variable that included Alcohol, does this include only packaged alcohol, or does it include alcohol spent at bars and restaurants, too?
Consumer Expenditure and Retail Demand are sourced from the same survey – the Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The information is displayed differently in CEX and Retail Demand. The Consumer Expenditure items show what is expected to be spent on different line items and grouped by like categories. These are potential dollars for items regardless of the type of store or the location where items are sold. Retail Demand aggregates the individual items to a storetype and merchandise line. Once again, it’s a potential number; not an actual sales dollar. Both reflect expected purchases where people live and not actual purchases. Where purchases actually happen is not known. Based upon what I see, Alcoholic Beverages away fromhome would include bars and restaurants.
The Experian CAPE methodology (included in the quarterly release docs) does cover some of this. Plus find more information the CEX here: http://www.bls.gov/cex/.