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U.S. consumer spending increased in November

December 4, 2013

The amount of money being spent by Americans at payment processing terminals continues to move higher, suggesting that regained confidence in the economy is starting to have an effect on consumer spending.

The amount of money being spent by Americans at payment processing terminals continues to move higher, suggesting that regained confidence in the economy is starting to have an effect on consumer spending.

Americans reported spending roughly $91 per day each throughout November, on average, according to the latest Gallup poll. That number is up from both October 2013 and from prior Novembers, as consumer spending trends continue to outpace those from 2009 through 2012, according to the report. 

The report also suggests that spending will continue to move higher through December. The average increase from October to November has held steady at $2, for example, since 2008. However, the average November to December increase has been approximately $7 for the same timeframe. 

Gallup reports that 2013 spending has been much stronger than it was from 2009 to 2012, and that current figures suggest December will represent the strongest month for consumer spending since the financial crash of 2008. 

This may be because the discounts being offered at credit card payment processing terminals are more dramatic than most have even been offered before. MarketWatch recently reported, for example, that J.C. Penney had discounted the majority of its stock by 70 percent on Black Friday this year, in an attempt to gain previously lost market share.

Charles Grom, an analyst at Sterne Agee, told the news outlet that such large discounts will help the retailer to gain a share of this consumer spending, as retailers continue to compete for shopper’s spending budgets. 

“While traffic wasn’t nearly as strong as observed in Macy’s locations, we noticed quite a few JCP shopping bags during our checks and store associate feedback was generally favorable,” Grom told the news outlet. “JCP got back to its roots over the weekend. Success over the holiday season will be critical for JCP as it seeks to re-acquire many consumers that left during 2012. Our reads suggest a good first step this weekend.”

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