Daily spending among middle- and lower-income Americans, those with annual household incomes of less than $90,000 a year, increased to $79 in November from $76 in October, according to a new Gallup poll.
Middle- and lower-income Americans make up the bulk of U.S. consumers but they typically spend less than upper-income Americans do and their spending varies each month. November's average is similar to the $80 average in August, but it has averaged slightly less in subsequent months
Spending among upper-income Americans, those with annual household incomes of $90,000 or more, increased in November, reaching an average of $166. In October, it showed an increase of $12 to $152.
The increase in Americans' reported spending in November could be a positive sign for the shopping season, if spending reports show the usual increase from November to December. Separate Gallup research predicts a stronger holiday season than in 2013, albeit only slightly stronger. A majority of Americans (54%) said they plan to spend the same as last year. So far in 2014, spending has increased when compared with the corresponding month in 2013. The 2014 spending averages remain much higher than Gallup measured from 2009 to 2012.
The November average consumer spending figure is based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews taking place in November with more than 14,000 adults. The poll surveys Americans about the total amount they spent "yesterday" in stores, restaurants, gas stations or online, not counting home and vehicle purchases, or normal monthly bills. It is meant to provide an indicator of Americans' discretionary spending.
In past years, spending has been stable from October to November. Spending has increased by $3 or more between these two months only twice before, in 2010 and 2013, since Gallup began daily tracking in 2008. However, spending typically increases in December, with an average increase over the past six Decembers of $6, and ranging between increases of $2 in 2008 and $10 in 2012.