Continued Growth in Consumer Spending in May Sets Stage for Summer
Transitioning from spring into the summer ahead, American consumers continued spending at a solid pace in May with the strongest spending in travel and home improvement.
Spending growth of 4.2% was up over April’s 4.1%, driven by May’s warm weather in most regions. Hotel spending growth of 9.3% was a 12 month high, spiking vs. April’s 7.0%. Related dollar volume growth of 7.1% at Travel merchants was also the highest growth in over a year and was also up considerably over April’s growth of 5.2%. Overall retail spending growth in May marked the strongest growth in seven months, primarily driven by spending at Building Material & Supply Dealers (6.7% in May vs. 3.6% in April) and Furniture & Home Furnishings merchants (1.4% in May vs. -0.7% in April). Retail average ticket growth of 0.0% was an improvement over April’s growth of -1.1% as many retailers returned to full price selling, moving away from the discounting used to boost foot traffic during and after the extended winter.
Rishi Chhabra is vice president of information and analytics solutions at First Data.