Consumption is the purchase and use of goods and services. Household consumption includes the goods and services we buy and use on a daily basis in our homes, from furniture to household appliances, and the electricity used to run them. Household consumption also includes the food and beverages we consume and the transport we use to make our daily trips to and from home.
The demand for goods and services by households is a major source of pressure on resources and the environment. Generally speaking, as household consumption grows, environmental pressures grow. Our purchasing choices directly and indirectly involve the consumption of natural resources and the generation of waste, as goods and services are produced and delivered. The purchase of goods and services can also be directly linked to harmful environmental effects (for example, air pollution produced in manufacturing processes).
Household consumption contributes to a large proportion of New Zealand’s total consumption of goods and services. However, it is difficult to measure the physical volume of goods and services consumed by New Zealand households. Instead, we measure the expenditure on goods and services by New Zealand households. This is called household consumption expenditure.
Household consumption expenditure is widely recognised and used internationally as a good indicator of the pressures that consumption can put on the environment. It is also easily assessed across countries, allowing international comparisons to be made.
The national environmental indicator for household consumption provides information on household consumption expenditure.
View the latest household consumption update.
Last updated: 19 November 2012