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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Credit card transaction data suggest the recent surge in COVID-19 infections is starting to impact parts of the economy.

Why it matters: The economy’s been on a robust upward trajectory, generating almost a million jobs in July alone.

  • The big unknown is how much the spread of the Delta variant could derail that recovery.

What they’re saying: Looking at Chase debit and credit card transaction data, JPMorgan economist Jesse Edgerton observed spending in travel and entertainment softened in early July as infections accelerated.

  • "Most notably, airline spending has fallen almost 20% from a recent peak in mid-July, a larger decline than during the severe winter COVID wave, when spending was at much lower levels," he wrote on Friday.
  • Bank of America saw a similar pattern in its own debit and credit card data.
  • "The slowing in air travel is not just a story for this week: the 2-year growth rate of air travel peaked four weeks ago and has taken a turn lower, potentially reflecting the risks from the Delta variant," the bank wrote on Thursday.

Zoom out: This is just one category of spending. In fact, Bank of America card spending levels for the week ending July 31 were 10% above 2019 levels.

What to watch: The details of the July retail sales report bear watching when they’re released on Aug. 17 for further clues about which categories are getting hit by the rise in infections.

Go deeper

Banks see borrowing return

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Lending profits helped boost Bank of America's and Morgan Stanley’s third quarter. 

  • Net interest income jumped 10% and 52%, respectively, over last year, the companies reported this morning. 

Delta Air Lines CEO warns fuel costs could dig into profits

Photo: Nicolas Economou via Getty Images

Delta Air Lines’ biggest concern for the fourth quarter isn’t “the variant” — as CEO Ed Bastian refers to it — it’s fuel costs.

The big picture: Warnings like Delta's are a natural result of the global fuel chaos.

Biden headed to the Hill as Democrats struggle to reach deal on spending bills

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday morning will meet with the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill to provide an update about his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to a White House official.

Driving the news: The meeting comes as Democrats struggle to reach a deal on the spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that Democrats were planning to reach an agreement on the infrastructure package this week, before Biden's departure to Europe, which is slated for later on Thursday.