This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Did You Spend This Much Per Day in December?

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet) Last month, Americans opened their pocketbooks and spent money at the highest daily level since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to research by Gallup. In a telephone survey conducted each evening, respondents are asked how much money they spent the prior day excluding household bills, as well as home and car payments. Americans reported spending $96 per day in December, the most since September 2008 and the highest average for any December during the six years the polling group has been tracking daily outlays.

This self-reported gauge of discretionary spending dropped dramatically in the first quarter of 2009, and then began to trend upward towards the end of 2012. Rising throughout 2013, it ending the twelve month period standing at an average $16 per day higher than the rate recorded at the beginning of the year.

The $96 daily spending average in December 2013 was up from $91 in November and is the highest of 2013, just above the $95 August rate.

Must Read: Paying the Polar Vortex Piper

Gallup says it's a consumer spending tendency worth noting.

"The trend in consumer spending over the past six years presents a clear pattern," Frank Newport, Gallup editor in chief says in the report. "Spending was at its highest point in the first three quarters of 2008 -- the year in which Gallup started tracking daily spending -- including the monthly high to date of $114 measured in May. Then came the economic collapse. Spending dropped to its nadir of $58 by January 2011. Since then, it has gradually increased, and spending last year clearly was the most robust since 2008."

While the report admits that Americans are reporting a tendency to prefer saving over spending, the trend of spending growth bodes well for the economy.

"Consumer spending is one of the main engines of economic growth, and its trajectory in the months ahead will be an important indicator of the economy's health," Newport writes. "If the current trends continue, average daily spending could break through the $100 mark on a routine basis, and thus denote a return to levels that characterized spending in pre-recession times."

Gallup's measure of job creation dipped slightly at the end of the year, suggesting some caution in concluding that the economy is on a "straight linear upward trajectory."

Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.66 -0.09%
FB $118.57 0.84%
GOOG $698.30 0.76%
TSLA $241.82 0.44%
YHOO $36.53 -0.19%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs