The new Gallup Consumer Spending report said that an average consumer was spending $91 daily in April 2015. The figure marked a $3 increase as compared to the same period in 2014. April 2015 has thus become the highest spending month since before the great financial crisis.
In May things quickly deteriorated, with average daily spending in April and May unchanged at $91, despite a consistent jump the just concluded month of May in recent years, and despite the substantial jump in gas prices, which in May 2008 led to a $28 jump in average spending, and $10 in 2014.
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Worse, on an apples to apples, year-over-year basis, average spending in May of 2015 was $7 less than 2014, and nearly identical to 2013, when the US unemployment rate was nearly 3% higher, and the economy was supposedly sputtering badly enough for the Fed to launch QE3.
Finally, this was the biggest month of May consumer spending drop in nominal dollar terms since the 2008 financial crisis.
This is what Gallup does to calculate average spending:
Gallup's daily spending measure asks Americans to estimate the total amount they spent "yesterday" in restaurants, gas stations, stores or online -- not counting home, vehicle or other major purchases, or normal monthly bills -- to provide an indication of Americans' discretionary spending. The May 2015 average is based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 15,000 U.S. adults.
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