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Photo: Robert Caplin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase and its CEO Jamie Dimon have a lot of bullish things to say about U.S. consumers.

Why it matters: As the biggest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan has an intimate understanding of consumers’ financial activities, including how they are saving and borrowing.

  • "The pump is primed," Dimon said of consumers’ capacity to spend on an earnings call. "Their house value is up, their stock value is up, their incomes are up, their savings are up, their confidence is up."

Driving the news: In its Q2 2021 earnings announcement, the bank said spending on its debit and credit cards was up 45% from the prior year, and up 22% from the pre-pandemic Q2 2019.

  • Home loan originations jumped 64% year over year to $40 billion.
  • Auto loan originations jumped 61% to $12 billion.

And yet, despite this surge in spending and borrowing, consumers still seem to have a lot of dry powder.

  • JPMorgan said outstanding credit card balances were lower and mortgage prepayments were up.
  • Average deposits were up 25% to $1.0 trillion.

Context: Some of this growth in deposits can be attributed to the excess savings consumers accumulated during the pandemic as they had limited options for spending.

The bottom line: "They are raring to go," Dimon said on the call. "You see it in home prices. You see it in auto purchases. You see it. And it would be much higher, but for supply constraints right now."

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

Retail sales increase despite low expectations from Delta

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers defied expectations and shopped at an increasing rate amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: Several measures of consumer confidence fell sharply in August, suggesting consumer spending could fall during the month. In fact, concerns about the Delta variant's impact on the economy had prominent Wall Street economists cutting their expectations for Q3 GDP growth.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.