This is the program for the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 241
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, August 2, 2010 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Business and Economic Statistics Section
Abstract - #307947
Title: Forecasting Long-Term Trends in Consumer Expenditures
Author(s): David Swanson*+
Companies: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Address: 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, DC, 20212,
Keywords: Expenditure ; Inflation ; Forecast

Forecasting consumer expenditures is important to economists. This paper presents a simple and potentially powerful model for forecasting long-term trends in consumer expenditures. It is based on a model of supply and demand in which the population's changing age distribution is used to measure the changing levels of supply and demand. Young and old people are known to demand different kinds of goods in the marketplace, and they are known to supply different kinds of skills to the producers of those goods as well. Moreover, the population's age distribution changes in a very slow and predictable way, which makes it an ideal variable for making long-term forecasts. In this paper we look at fifty years of data from the Consumer Price Index and other economic statistics to illustrate how the model works.

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