Americans spent more in May than before the pandemic, Visa says - but the spree is slowing down
- Visa's spending momentum index dipped in April but still shows activity surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
- The year-over-year gauge is somewhat skewed by spending bouncing back in May 2020.
- The index signals Americans are spending more than they did before the pandemic as they unwind pent-up demand.
Americans continued to unwind trillions of dollars in savings throughout May, albeit at a less explosive rate,
The May print compares to an April reading of 136, suggesting the share of Americans spending more year-over-year shrank. Despite the month-over-month drop, "the breadth of
Several factors likely powered the April-to-May decline. For one, each reading is somewhat skewed by year-ago
The SMI previews the May retail sales report slated for release on June 15. The measure is among the most closely-watched gauges of consumer activity and sits at record highs after stimulus and reopening powered a spring spending boom.
Retail sales were unchanged in April as the previous month's economic relief dried up and more lockdown restrictions were reversed. Vehicle sales outperformed, while sales excluding autos contracted slightly. With various supply bottlenecks plaguing the recovery, how spending trends in the coming months may determine just how much inflation will accelerate before the US settles into a new economic normal.
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