U.S. consumer daily spending jumped in May to a six-year high of $98, up $10 from the April average and up $8 compared to May 2013, according to self-reported numbers reported by Gallup. The figure is the highest for the month of May since 2008.
April-to-May gains in consumer spending in the previous five years were moderate and predictable, ranging from $3 to $6. The exception was 2012, which saw no increase.
The daily spending figures are based on Americans' self-reports of the total amount they spent "yesterday" in stores, gas stations, restaurants or online - not counting home and vehicle purchases and normal monthly bills.
One key reason average spending in May soared was high spending levels experienced over Memorial Day weekend, Gallup reports. The three-day spending average for May 27-29 reached $134 - the highest three-day average since 2008. The three-day average closest to this figure was $129, during the pre-Christmas days of Dec. 21-23, 2013.
While Americans' views of the economy on a monthly basis have been flat in 2014, the May increase in spending suggests the chance of some economic improvement. The six-year-high spending average last month is an indicator that regardless of whether Americans are feeling more confident about the economy, their personal cash flows have picked up.
Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted during May on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 15,724 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.