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Overall spending on transportation has fallen to 17.5 percent today from 19.3 percent in 1973, as vehicle purchases and expenses have declined to 6.6 percent from 9.5 percent.

But the cost of gas and motor oil has increased notably. It’s at 5.4 percent today from an elevated 4.2 percent during the 1973 oil crisis.

One surprising cost-saving: “floor coverings,” which went from 0.5 percent in 1973 to nothing today. How to explain it? “The death of the shag carpet,” Millar surmises in the report.

©2013 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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