The Household Budget Survey (HBS), which was started in January 2006, replaces the Household Budget Continuous Survey (HBCS) base 1997, which was carried out at quarterly intervals since 1997 until 2005. The new survey provides annual information on the nature and destination of consumption expenses, as well as on a range of features relating to household living conditions.
Consumption expenses refer both to the monetary flow into the home for paying for specific final consumption goods and services, and to the value of goods received for self-consumption, self-supply, payment in kind, free or subsidised food and rent of the dwelling in which the household lives (where it is owned or it is granted by other households or institutions). Expenses are recorded at the time of acquisition, irrespective of whether payment is in cash or in instalments.
The sample size is approximately 24,000 households per year. Each household remains in the sample for two consecutive years, with half of the sample renewed each year.
The survey provides estimates of annual consumption for the entire country and the Autonomous Communities, and of consumption in physical amounts of certain food goods for the country as a whole.