U.S. consumers spent an average of $87 per day last month, a strong rebound from $78 in January, which had been the lowest estimate in 14 months, according to Gallup.
Average daily spending for February was the strongest for the month of February since 2008, when daily spending averaged $106, according to Gallup's daily tracking estimates. The value provides an estimate of consumers discretionary spending because it does not include normal household bills and major purchases such as homes and cars.
The results are based on more than 13,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews with U.S. adults throughout February. Each day, Gallup asks respondents to say how much they spent the prior day, aside from normal household bills and major purchases such as homes and cars. The value gives an estimate of discretionary consumer spending.
February results, in the seven years Gallup has monitored daily spending, are typically the same or more than January. Consumers typically scale back in January after spending more during the holiday season. Higher daily spending, exceeding $100, before and after Valentines Day may have contributed to the overall increase for the month.
Also, low-and-middle income consumers spent an average of $79 per day in February compared to $69 per day in January. Typically spending by upper-income consumers influences the daily average, but there was no change from January to February. Overall, Gallups data from the past four years shows that daily spending typically increases from February to March and then continues to increase throughout the year.
While the country has consistently shown economic growth the last several years, the rate of growth has still been somewhat disappointing, according to a statement from Gallup officials. However, increased consumer spending is the surest way to improve the economy because it accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy, the statement continued.
Spending typically picks up over the course of the year, and Gallup has observed increases from February to March the past four years. This year's strong February spending could be a positive sign of things to come, Gallup officials said.