Merrill Lynch on Consumer Spending

April 16th, 2014 9:15 pm | by John Jansen |

Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America which is a colossal retail bank which reaches into ever nook and cranny of America. The bank has access to info which allows then to track spending patterns and make some judgements about consumer spending based on credit card and debit card use. Here is this week’s take on the state of the consumer.

 

Via Merrill Lynch research:

  • Spending accelerated last week. Our internal card (credit and debit) retail (ex. gas) spending data show that spending accelerated to +5.0% YoY during the week of April 11th from just +0.9% YoY increase during the week of April 4th. However, this is still below the very robust 10.7% rise in spending during the second of week of April last year. Spending actually fell 3.3% YoY during the first week of the month last year, but that was likely a result of the timing of the Easter holiday, which was in the first week of April in 2012 (resulting in relatively higher spending during that week), but in the last week of March in 2013. For the month of March our internal card retail (ex. gas) spending data show a fairly low +0.1% MoM SA increase in spending, down from also subdued +0.2% increase in February. Note, however, that our internal data is often not a good predictor of the official Census Bureau data. On a regional basis, the total card spending (a broader category than retail ex. gas, but where we have the geographical breakdown) shows a significant March spending pick up in the Northeast (up 2.0% MoM), followed by the West (+0.6), South (+0.3%) and Midwest (+0.1% MoM increase).- Yuriy Shchuchinov (Page 4)
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