The Table Below Gives Information on Consumer Spending on Different Items in Five Different Countries in 2002

The table below gives information on consumer spending on different items in five different countries in 2002.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 7 Test 1 Writing Task 1.

Percentage of national consumer expenditure by category – 2002

the table below gives information on consumer spending on different items in five different countries in 2002

Sample Essay

The table shows consumer expenditure by category in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Turkey in 2002.

Overall, all five countries spent the most on food, drinks and tobacco, and the least on leisure and education.

Food, drinks and tobacco accounted for the greatest proportions of consumer spending in all five countries, with Turkey (32.14%) and Ireland (28.91%) spending significantly more on these items than the other three countries (18.80% in Spain, 16.36% in Italy and 15.77% in Sweden).

Consumers in Italy, who spent 9.00% of their expenditure on clothing and footwear, were the biggest spenders on them. Expenditures in this category for the other four countries ranged from 5.40% to 6.63%.

Leisure and education were the smallest expenditure for all these countries. Even in Turkey where the spending was greatest, the figure was only 4.35%. Spain was the lowest-spending country in this category, at 1.98%.

155 words

Article

Note in the sentence below, “greatest” instead of “the greatest” is used. I asked two native speakers and neither of them was able to explain why “the” is not needed. I guess we just have to memorize it.

Even in Turkey where the spending was greatest, the figure was only 4.35%. Spain was the lowest-spending country in this category, at 1.98%.

There is a quote from BBC. Hope that you guys can find the pattern.

The unemployment rate was highest in the North East, at 11.6% and lowest in the South East at 6.3%. (Source: BBC)

How to Report the Biggest Numbers

  • All five countries spent the most on food, drinks and tobacco.
  • Food, drinks and tobacco accounted for the greatest proportions of consumer spending in all five countries.
  • Food, drinks and tobacco were the biggest expenditure for all these countries.
  • Consumers in Turkey, who spent 32.14%% of their expenditure on food, drinks and tobacco were the biggest spenders on these items.
  • Turkey was the highest-spending country in the category of food, drinks and tobacco.

How to Avoid Repetition

We can use “this category” or “these items” to avoid repeating the items we just mentioned.
  • Food, drinks and tobacco accounted for the greatest proportions of consumer spending in all five countries, with Turkey and Ireland spending significantly more on these items/in this category than the other three countries.

2 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. HI Lilie,
    Firstly, I just want to thank you alot for your guidance in IELTS writing modules, i have learned many things by reading your posts and watching your videos. However, I just found a small mistake in the above essay (4th para) i.e. you have wrote a wrong category in the explanation.
    “Consumers in Italy, who spent 9.00% of their expenditure on leisure and education ( here, it needs to be clothing and footwear), were the biggest spenders on them. Expenditures in this category for the other four countries ranged from 5.40% to 6.63%.”
    I know it’s wrong, so I won’t make that mistake, but there might be other students who may not understand why you wrote that.

    1. Thanks for pointing it out. I was going to write “clothing and footwear”. I don’t know why I wrote “leisure and education” instead. I’ll correct it.

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