A new release calendar has been launched on GOV.UK. The Publication Hub website will soon be decommissioned.

Skip to content

Consumer Trends presents comprehensive estimates of Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE), which is traditional consumer spending that feeds into the expenditure measure of GDP. For national accounting purposes, households are individuals or groups of people sharing living accommodation.


Consumer Trends
Department: Office for National Statistics
Contains details of Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE) for the UK. The main tables include all expenditure on goods and services by members of UK households.
Family Resources Survey Reports (Northern Ireland)
Department: Social Development (Northern Ireland)
Information collected from the Family Resources Survey.
Family Spending
Department: Office for National Statistics
Figures showing average weekly expenditure on goods and services for UK households, compiled from the 2012 Living Costs and Food Survey.

Back to the top


The Consumer Trends publication provides estimates of Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE). This can be defined as spending by households on products or services to satisfy their immediate needs or wants. This includes expenditure on the administrative costs of insurances but excludes capital expenditure on dwellings and valuables.  

HHFCE is classified by the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) to conform to the European System of Accounts 1995. This classification is divided into the following divisions:

01. Food and non-alcoholic beverages

02. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

03. Clothing and footwear

04. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels

05. Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance

06. Health

07. Transport

08. Communication

09. Recreation and culture

10. Education

11. Restaurants and hotels, and

12. Miscellaneous goods and services 

COICOP also identifies durable goods, semi-durables, non-durables and services within these divisions.

Estimates for foreign tourist expenditure and UK tourist expenditure abroad are shown separately.

Published data are shown in both current price and chained volume measures (CVM) series, not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted.

CVM series are estimates of the volume of expenditure expressed in the average prices in the reference year.

Back to the top

Technical Data

The method used for estimating each equivalent household final consumption series at chained volume measure depends on the methods used for the current price estimate.

Generally, the current price estimate in value terms is deflated by an appropriate price index. The indices used for this purpose are generally components of the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), weighted as appropriate to reflect national accounting product groups. The CPI does not cover the whole range of household final consumption and other indices have to be used or estimated where necessary.

The quarterly and annual estimates of Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE) are at current and previous year prices. They are built up from a variety of independent sources.

Where more than one potential source is available, the source used for a particular good or service is the one that is judged to provide the most reliable estimate of the level and changes in expenditure on that good or service. In some cases a combination of sources are employed so as to make the best use of the available information. Each published component series within HHFCE is individually seasonally adjusted.


The main sources for HHFCE data are as follows:

  • Annual Business Inquiry (ABI)

  • quarterly results are derived from the Retail Sales Inquiry (RSI) 

  • Living Costs and Food Survey (LCFS) 

  • International and Passenger Survey (IPS) 

  • other sources within the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Other sources include:

  • Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

  • Department of Energy and Climate Changed (DECC)
  • commercial market research surveys

Current Price Data

This refers to the actual price recorded at the time the data are collected.


Volume measures are derived by deflating the current price figures by the appropriate price index.

Chained Volume Measures

Chained Volume Measures are created by a process of chain linking. 

From April 2003, the volume measures have been calculated using annual chain linking to reflect short-term movements and prices.

Under annual chain linking, growth is measured by revaluing current period expenditure at average prices prevailing in the previous year and comparing the result with actual expenditure in the previous year.

The weight given to individual goods and services within the total is updated every year. In this way, changes in the structure of the economy are reflected in statistics of growth at an early stage.

Back to the top


  • Classification Of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP)

    COICOP is an internationally agreed classification system for consumer expenditure and prices.

  • Durable goods

    Durable goods are goods that can be used repeatedly or continuously. They also have a high price relative to other goods.

  • Non-durable goods

    Non-durable goods are goods that can be used only once. They include food and all types of drink.

  • Semi-durable goods

    Semi-durable goods differ from durable goods in that their expected lifetime of use, though more than one year, is often significantly shorter and their purchase price is substantially less than for durable goods.

Back to the top

Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Household Expenditure Branch

Email: consumer.trends@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455889

Household Expenditure Branch Room 1.024 Office for National Statistics Government Buildings Cardiff Road NP10 8XG

Back to the top