Location Data Knowledge Base

Data methodologies, and Release schedules.

Consumer Expenditure Resources

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

One of the datasets from Experian is CAPE Consumer Expenditure estimating expenditures across a large list of categories. While some methodology is referenced in the Experian documents, there are frequent questions about the source of the data and what kinds of expenditures are included in a specific category. For those looking for a self-serve option, I'm referencing some of my go-to links for searching the BLS site.


Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) starting page: http://www.bls.gov/cex/

CEX FAQ: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxfaqs.htm

Copies of the actual CE Survey Forms: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxsurveyforms.htm

Glossary of Terms: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxgloss.htm including links to the Expenditure details - what goes into a category: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxgloss.htm#expn


More about Experian CAPE CEX

  • Updated once a year when the other CAPE demographics are updated
  • Based upon the Consumer Expenditure Survey but refined further for use in Alteryx
  • Total Expenditures are divided by Households to reflect an Average Household Expenditure
  • Available for Current Year Estimates and Five-Year Projections

If there are questions which cannot be answered at the BLS site, submit your question to the Community including specific CEX fields, geography and how to replicate the data.




7 - Meteor

Hi - So, for the CE data - it says the Current Year Estimates are based off past CES survey data. For Q2 2020 release, the documentation says that the estimates include those recorded for Calendar Year 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 (January– March).


That said, the current year estimate is showing us spend data for what time frame? What HHs will spend in all of 2020 (calendar year)? What HHs spent in 2019?