Consumer Spending Habits

The Economix blog over at the New York Times has an interesting piece today looking at the consumer spending habits in the last year. Specifically, Kruger looks at the Gallup Daily Tracking poll about a question that was introduced to the poll earlier in the year that asks a consumer about his or her spending habits.

I found a few of conclusions that he drew to be fascinating and revealing:

  1. People spend about 32 percent more on Fridays and Saturdays than on other days of the week, probably because they receive their paychecks on Fridays and have time to shop on Saturdays.
  2. Daily data on consumption can be related to stock market movements. Today’s spending is unrelated to today’s movement in the S.&P. 500, but is related to movements in the stock market over the last seven trading days. A 10 percent drop in the S.&P. 500 in the preceding week is associated with about a 10 percent drop in consumer spending today.
  3. The Gallup data show a declining trend in spending since May 2008, and this decline accelerated in early November.

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