Apr 26, 2023 - Economy

After going on a shopping spree, Americans are spending less

Monthly change in consumer spending
Adapted from Morning Consult Economic Intelligence Survey, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Morning Consult's spending data is deflated with the CPI, while PCE is deflated using its own price index; Seasonally adjusted; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumer spending fell substantially in March from the previous month, according to a survey out Wednesday from Morning Consult.

Why it matters: The polling offers a hint about the official consumer spending data that will come out Friday from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the past, Morning Consult's survey — though more volatile — has directionally tracked those numbers.

Zoom out: The American consumer is running out of gas when it comes to shopping — across all categories, from food to travel — as inflation continues to pinch and fears of job losses among higher-wage earners grow. It's a sign that the economy is cooling down a bit from the red-hot spending of the pandemic era.

  • "The strength of the consumer can only be stretched so far," said John Leer, chief economist at Morning Consult.
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