December Spending by Consumers Highest Since ’08

Source: January 7, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Consumers reported spending an average of $83 per day in December in stores, online, and in restaurants (and excluding household bills and a home or car purchase), details Gallup in newly released figures. That’s up almost 10% from December 2011′s daily average spend of $76, and is the highest average December outlay since 2008′s $89. Gallup notes that while average spending hikes are typically driven by higher-income consumers, in December both higher- and lower-income consumers reached their highest average spending totals in at least 4 years.

Specifically, higher-income Americans ($90,000 or more in annual income) reported spending an average of $155 per day, up more than 8% from the previous year ($143), and even up from December 2008′s $137. While lower-income Americans (less than $90,000 annual income) did not spend more than they did in December 2008, their 2012 total of $67 outpaced December spending in 2011 ($64), 2010 ($63), and 2009 ($62).

Gallup cautions that while the uptick in spending is a positive sign, spending patterns this month will be a better indicator of whether or not a trend is emerging.

Other Findings:

  • In December 2012, consumers spent $10 per day more than they did in November ($73), and $12 more than they did on average between January and November ($71).
  • The $83 daily spending average for December marks the highest result since the 2008-2009 recession.

About the Data: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup Daily tracking survey Dec. 1-30, 2012, with a random sample of 13,217 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.


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