Micro versus macro consumption data: the cyclical properties of the consumer expenditure survey


The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) offers the most comprehensive consumption data at the consumer level for the United States. Several previous studies have shown a large gap between per-capita consumption from the CEX and the aggregate Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) series. While previous research has focused on consumption levels, we focus on the cyclical properties of consumption. We find that the cyclical properties of consumption expenditure data from the two sources are quantitatively very different. This result calls for caution when using CEX data for business cycle research.

Applied Economics
Rodolfo G. Campos
Rodolfo G. Campos

My research interests include macroeconomics, social insurance, and international economics.