According to data released by the federal government, CNNMoney reports consumers spent an average of 3.3 percent more on household expenses in 2011 than in 2010. The average for annual spending increased to $49,705, the first yearly rise since 2008. It must be noted that inflation, however, rose 3.2 percent, offsetting all but the most minimal gain. The survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says consumer spending on gasoline rose 24.5 percent in 2011, as the nationwide average price of a gallon increased 26.4 percent. As MHProNews has learned, the price of gas hits those with the lowest incomes the hardest, taking 12.2 percent of their income versus 2.7 percent for the wealthiest. Spending on food in 2011 increased 5.4 percent, while health care expenses rose 4.9 percent.
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