Butkovitz Examines Philadelphia Region’s Spending Habits

Audit Date: December 21, 2010
Audit Categories
  • Financial
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
Dec. 21, 2010

Contact: Brian Dries

Butkovitz Examines Philadelphia Region’s Spending Habits
City Controller’s Economic report highlights how Philadelphians
and suburbanites spend their money

Click here view economic report

PHILADELPHIA – With many individuals across the Philadelphia region in the holiday spending mode, these individuals throughout the year are spending 74 percent of their $77,000 average incomes, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz’ monthly economic report.

The Controller’s report includes a breakdown of what households in the Philadelphia region are spending their money on, which includes the categories of food, housing, apparel, transportation, health care, entertainment and insurance and pensions. Housing costs account for the largest expense at $21,135 (37%) and $8,202 (14%) is spent on transportation and $6,460 (11%) is spent on food.

When comparing dollar amounts, households in the Philadelphia region spend more than the average household in the United States in every category except for health care, almost $100 less. Those living in the Philadelphia region also spend $45 more a year in entertainment than those living in the New York City region. Philadelphia spends less in fruits and vegetables than both New York City and Boston by $118 and $180 less, respectively.

In the City of Philadelphia, the average household income is $51,037 before taxes and spending levels for various categories would be considerably lower than the region’s figures.

The Controller’s economic report also includes a look at the City’s revenue collections. Wage/Earnings/NPT collections totaled $130 million for the month, an increase of $2.4 million compared to last year at this time. This is the fourth-consecutive month where the monthly revenue collections totaled more than the months from the previous year.

The Controller’s economic report is compiled on a monthly basis and includes an Economic Snapshot and Forecast, as well as real estate information and other local statistics. These reports are circulated every month to assist key decision makers in understanding and anticipating local and national economic trends. Both of these documents are a useful tool for policy makers and analysts in understanding our regional and local economy.