US Consumer Spending Near Nine-Year High in June, at $103

Justin McCarthy

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Americans' daily self-reports of spending averaged $103 in June, similar to their average of $104 in May. Last month represents the highest level of reported June spending since 2008, when spending averaged $104. It falls just short of the nine-year high of $114, from May 2008.

The June average is based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking throughout the month. Gallup asks Americans each night to report how much they spent the previous day, excluding spending on normal household bills and major purchases such as a home or car. The measure gives an indication of discretionary spending.

Americans' reported daily spending has averaged $100 or more since February -- the longest stretch of triple-digit spending averages Gallup has recorded in its trend dating to 2008.

The stability in Gallup's May-to-June spending figures is consistent with the trend over the past decade. June spending has generally been flat or dipped slightly. Larger changes, both of which were decreases, occurred in only two years -- 2008 and 2014.

Spending in July is likely to hold at its current level, because in most years over the past decade, Gallup has recorded figures for July that were within $3 of June's average. Last year was an exception, though, as spending increased by $12 in July 2016.

Comparison of Average Daily Reports of Spending, June-July
Monthly averages
  June July Change
  $ $ $
2016 88 100 +12
2015 90 91 +1
2014 91 94 +3
2013 90 89 -1
2012 70 73 +3
2011 69 74 +5
2010 67 68 +1
2009 61 62 +1
2008 104 104 0
Gallup Daily

Spending Steady Among Both Higher and Lower Earners

Spending among Americans living in households earning less than $90,000 annually was flat in June, at $78 -- similar to May's $79 average.

Americans in households earning $90,000 or more annually spent an average of $163 in June, statistically similar to the average $169 they spent in May. Their average for last month was $20 higher than what they spent in June 2016.

Bottom Line

Though Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy has edged down from the high points recorded after last fall's presidential election, their spending hasn't slowed. If July spending follows the typical pattern of being similar to June, spending will have averaged a three-digit figure for the sixth month in a row.

With inflation having slowed, with unemployment at a 16-year low and the U.S. Department of Commerce reporting personal income up slightly, it is likely that spending will remain at this elevated level in the second half of the year.