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Decoding Data

Chris Wheat

Small Business Contribution to Metro Spending Growth

JPMorgan Chase believes deeply in the power of data to advance economic progress and expand access to opportunity — which is why we are helping arm Detroit’s leaders with actionable data to inform their work.

For example, through the JPMorgan Chase Institute — a global think tank that draws on our firm’s unique proprietary data, expertise and market access to develop insights into the global economy — we measured consumer spending across 15 U.S. cities, including Detroit. The Institute’s Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI) shows that in Detroit, small businesses are a big driver of consumer spending — more so than in other parts of the country.

The Institute’s LCCI data are truly distinctive. Unlike other data sources that rely on self-reports, these data reflect over 16 billion anonymized credit and debit card transactions from more than 54 million Chase customers. This provides an opportunity to produce hyper-localized analyses of consumer spending.

In Detroit, these analyses revealed that 58 percent of consumer spending took place at small businesses within Detroit — no other city in in the LCCI sample cleared 50 percent. In September 2016, small businesses in Detroit contributed 3.4 percentage points to overall growth in the entire metro area. By contrast, the 15-city metro average contribution from small businesses was 2.5 percentage points.

Detroit’s focus on strengthening its small business sector can be a powerful lever for driving inclusive growth.

These findings suggest that the city’s focus on strengthening and supporting its small business sector has the potential to be a powerful lever for driving inclusive growth.

Data provided by our firm also informs a broad range of other efforts underway across Detroit — from tackling blight to strengthening the city’s workforce system. For example, in 2016, JPMorgan Chase and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce released research aimed at enabling the city’s leaders to make data-driven investments in training programs and connect and better prepare Detroiters for job opportunities. This research built on an analysis of the “skills gap” in Detroit that JPMorgan Chase issued in 2015, which identified the sectors projected to create the most middle-skill job opportunities in the city.

As another example, data provided by the Global Cities Initiative — a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase — helped illuminate Detroit’s economic assets and opportunities for investments. After the research found that Detroit has the potential for more foreign direct investment, we brought together leaders to discuss the actions they could take toward the region’s overall expansion and globalization of its economy.

Detroit provides a case in point of how timely, robust and local data helps leaders target efforts and focus limited resources in ways that make a real difference in the lives of their residents.

Small Business Share of Consumer Spending in Detroit