March 23, 2018 

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UNCERTAINTY: The possibility that any number of things could happen in the future. In other words, the future is not known. This should be compared with risk, which is assigning probabilities to alternative possibilities.

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Personal consumption expenditures on tangible goods that tend to last for less than a year. Common examples are food, clothing, and gasoline. This is one of three categories of personal consumption expenditures in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The other two are durable goods and services. Nondurable goods are about 30 percent of personal consumption expenditures and 20 percent of gross domestic product.
Nondurable goods are consumption goods purchased by the household sector that generally have a useful, satisfaction-providing existence of shorter than a year. Household expenditures on nondurable goods are generally unaffected by business cycles. In good times and bad, the household sector continues to purchase nondurable goods at a relatively constant pace.

The three main subcategories of nondurable goods in the National Income and Product Accounts are "food," "clothing and shoes," and "gasoline and oil." Food, as might be expected is half of the nondurable goods expenditures. Clothing and shoes constitute about 18 percent and gasoline and oil comes in at about 7 percent of nondurable goods expenditures. The remaining 25 percent of nondurable goods purchased by the household sector includes "fuel oil and coal" (less than 1 percent) and a handy catch-all "other" category (which is the bulk of the remaining 25 percent).

These categories are straightforward and do not require much explanation. The "food" entry is obviously food, "clothing and shoes" is, well, clothing and shoes, and "gasoline and oil" is gasoline and oil. The "other" category includes any nondurable good not classified elsewhere, including such things as pencils, newspapers, shampoo, and plastic picnic spoons.


Recommended Citation:

NONDURABLE GOODS, CONSUMPTION, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: March 23, 2018].

Check Out These Related Terms...

     | durable goods, consumption | services, consumption | gross private domestic investment | government consumption expenditures and gross investment | net exports of goods and services | fixed investment | change in private inventories |

Or For A Little Background...

     | personal consumption expenditures | gross domestic product, expenditures | consumption | consumption expenditures | household sector | gross domestic product | production | product markets | National Income and Product Accounts | Bureau of Economic Analysis | National Bureau of Economic Research |

And For Further Study...

     | macroeconomic sectors | circular flow | business cycles | gross domestic product, ins and outs | gross domestic product, income | gross domestic product, welfare | net domestic product | national income | personal income | disposable income | gross national product | real gross domestic product | saving | unemployment | inflation |

Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Bureau of Economic Analysis |

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