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Gallup: US Consumer Spending Steady in May

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The American economy got some good news Monday.

Despite Friday’s dismal employment report, which showed a mere 38,000 jobs were added in May, U.S. consumers are still shopping. Gallup said that Americans’ self-reported daily spending averaged $93 last month, similar to $95 in April and $91 in May 2015.

The research firm, which polled more than 15,000 adults throughout the month of May, said this figure reflects two larger trends in its tracking: higher spending in the spring months; and higher spending in recent years than from 2009 to early 2012, when the U.S. suffered through recession and high unemployment.

In fact, daily spending during that time averaged below $80, while it’s been above $90 since May 2013.

Gallup consumer spending

The latest number also indicates that consumer spending remained elevated after a surge in April. Gallup’s daily spending report jumped to $95 that month, up from $89 in March—the highest average for April in the firm’s nine-year trend. That increase was confirmed by a subsequent Department of Commerce report, which said that spending increased more in April than it had in the previous six years.

To that end, Gallup’s latest spending estimate suggests there was no major drop-off in spending in May.

“In most years, the two figures are similar, but there have been two instances, in 2008 and 2014, of increases in May,” the research firm said. “Those surges came after relatively weak April estimates, suggesting the usual spring increase may have been delayed in those years. The May 2008 spike was also likely primed by government rebate checks sent to all Americans, beginning in late April, as part of the economic stimulus plan.”

However, Gallup said it has yet to see an increase in average spending from May to June in any of the last eight years and expects that trend to continue this month.

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