Saturday, October 16, 2010

Discretionary spending continues to drop

Lower- and middle-income Americans' self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online averaged $48 per day during September -- down $6 from August and $16 from July, Gallup reports.
Consumer discretionary spending by these Americans making less than $90,000 a year is now at its lowest level since Gallup began daily tracking in January 2008, as the recession was just getting underway.

Gallup's take: "The decline in lower- and middle-income Americans' spending to new lows over the past two months may be a precursor of another significant drop in the overall economy. Gallup's self-reported spending data tend to measure consumers' discretionary or marginal expenditures, making these measures highly sensitive to shifting consumer spending patterns."

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