Middle And Lower Income Spending Looks Strong In Early 2013

by: Modeled Behavior

By Karl Smith

Gallup Economic polling doesn’t get a lot of play in the finance/economics world. I suspect because its both unofficial and rolling, so its hard to make it “news.”

However, their methodology is solid and the rolling nature of the data is a major plus as far as analytics goes. Lots of data points both reduce the importance of outliers and, relatedly, make it easier to spot micro-trends.

In any case the self-reported consumer spending data looks healthy, especially at the middle and lower end, households making less than 90K a year.

U.S. Self-Reported Spending, Trend in Monthly Averages by Income Since January 2008

We’ll see if other data confirms this but I might guess this is reflecting strong durable sales. The purchase of a durable is the type of thing likely to move a respondents answer from his or her usual “$30 – $35 I guess” something higher. Note that $32 is roughly 1/31st of $1000 if you are looking for natural guesstimates.

If a larger fraction of folks are purchasing durables then we would see the average float upwards with those sales.