Jul 22, 2022 - Economy & Business

What Amex tells us about consumer spending

Data: American Express; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Consumers are ready to see the town after two years of being cooped up — and American Express' second quarter give us a window into just how eager they are.

Driving the news: Amex reported Q2 earnings that showed soaring consumer outlays on travel and entertainment, reflecting an ongoing shift in spending as people get more comfortable getting out.

  • The credit giant's customers spent 84% more on experience-related spending in Q2 than they did a year earlier.
  • That included a 148% increase in spending on airlines, and a 90% increase in spending on lodging.

The big picture: The company's total revenue spiked 31% in the period, compared with a year earlier.

  • "The travel rebound in particular has been faster and stronger than anyone expected," American Express CEO Stephen Squeri said on a conference call.

But, but, but: Spending isn't exactly soaring across the board. Retailers like Target have recently reported a glut of inventory as shoppers spend less on items that used to be harder to find, and pricier.

The bottom line: People are transitioning from spending on stuff to spending on experiences.

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