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1. The total expenditure in an economy on goods and serv1ces which are used up within a specified, usually short, period of time, generaHy a year (plus, by convention, all expenditure on defence). This expenditure will therefore not oniy include consumer goods and services, but also the raw materials, etc., used in production processes. It constitutes about 80 per cent of the national income. 2. The actual physical process of using a good or service: one 'consumes' the services of a house by living in it and one 'consumes' the services of a pair of shoes by wearing them.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.