Overall self-reported daily consumer spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online averaged $61 per day in February 2010, according to results of a new Gallup poll. That is up slightly from $58 in January and $59 in February 2010, but still in the 2009-2010 “new normal” spending range and 42% below the $106 average of February 2008.
Throughout 2010, Gallup data indicates US consumer spending remained relatively close to that of 2009. Spending surged each year in December as expected, given seasonal spending trends and that Gallup spending data are not seasonally adjusted. In January and February 2011, consumer spending returned to the 2009-2010 new normal spending range of $58 to $68.
Upper-Income Spending Increased in February, but Also Remains in New Normal Range
Upper-income Americans (those making $90,000 or more annually) spent an average of $117 per day in February 2011, up 15% from $102 in January 2011 19% from and $98 in February 2010; but about the same as the $121 of February 2009.
Gallup analysis suggests these Americans, who have the disposable income to spend more freely when they choose, appear to have chosen to keep their spending within the 2009-2010 upper-income new normal range of $98 to $123 and far below the $148 average of February 2008.
Lower- and Middle-Income Spending Up Slightly, but Also in New Normal Range
Lower- and middle-income Americans’ self-reported spending averaged $52 per day during February 2011, up slightly from $50 in January but down slightly from $55 in February 2010. Spending by these Americans making less than $90,000 a year remains 47% below the $95 average of February 2008.
Harris: 1 in 3 Americans Expects Economic Improvement
Looking ahead, one-third of Americans (34%) say they expect the economy to improve in the coming year, one-quarter (25%) say they expect it to get worse and two in five (42%) say they expect it to stay the same, according to results of a new Harris Poll. This is an improvement from December 2010, just three in 10 (29%) said they expected the economy to improve in the coming year, while 45% thought it would stay the same and one-quarter (26%) said it would get worse.
About the Data: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking during the month of February 2011, with a random sample of 13,349 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.