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Consumer Commerce Grew 0.2 Percent in January 2018, According to New JPMorgan Chase Institute Data

Eight of 14 cities registered positive growth in January 2018.

Spending has fluctuated monthly between positive and negative growth since August.

May 3, 2018, (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the JPMorgan Chase Institute released its Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI) for January 2018, which showed increased spending in eight out of 14 metro areas analyzed. Over the last five months, year over year growth has seen monthly fluctuations, alternating between positive and negative changes in local spending. Portland, with a positive growth rate of 3.4 percent, had the largest increase in year-over-year spending, compared to January 2017.

Small metro areas led the way with 1.2 percent positive growth, while mid-sized metro areas saw 0.6 percent growth compared to the same time last year. Spending in large metro areas declined 0.6 percent, with Los Angeles seeing the only positive growth with 0.1 percent.

“This evident fluctuation in the Local Consumer Commerce Index underscores the challenges facing business owners as they try to anticipate consumer demand,” said Diana Farrell, President and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Institute. “Large cities continue to see negative growth compared to the previous year, while small cities continue to lead the way. Further, spending growth among young people has outpaced that of their older counterparts for the 49th consecutive month in our series, reflecting the spending dynamism of this age group.”

Data visualization of the changes in local consumer spending growth over the last 24 months can be found online.

This LCCI report provides a timely view of how the following cities and surrounding metro areas are faring economically, both individually and in aggregate: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland (Ore.), San Diego and San Francisco. By looking at actual, de-identified financial transactions, the LCCI offers an ongoing, dynamic view of the financial health of the U.S. consumer and the vibrancy of the places where businesses operate.

Additional key highlights from the latest Index release include:

  • Atlanta saw the largest decline in spending, down 2.1 percent compared to the previous year, followed by Columbus with a 1.3 percent decline.
  • Houston saw a 0.3 percent decline in spending, its first negative growth rate since Hurricane Harvey.
  • Consumers under the age of 25 increased spending 15.1 percent, compared to January 2017
  • Consumers in the bottom income quintile increased spending 3.3 percent, while the wealthiest consumers saw a 1.0 percent decline compared to one year previous.
  • Spending on fuel saw an increase of 6.3 percent, while non-durables saw the largest decline with 1.4 percent.
  • Small business contributed 0.6 percentage points to year over year growth, while mid-sized businesses subtracted 0.3 percent.

The LCCI offers unique advantages over existing measures of consumer spending.

  • The LCCI offers unique advantages over existing measures of consumer spending.
  • The LCCI provides timely data on spending in 14 major metropolitan areas; such geographic granularity is unavailable in most other spending measures. These 14 metro areas mirror the geographic and economic diversity of larger metropolitan areas in the United States and account for 30 percent of retail sales nationwide.
  • The LCCI also presents a more granular view of local consumer commerce through five important lenses: consumer age, consumer income, business size, product type, and consumer residence relative to the location of the business. For each lens, we show how different segments contributed to year-over-year spending growth.
  • The LCCI captures economic activity in sectors that previously have not been well understood by other data sources. These include sectors such as food trucks, new merchants, and personal services.

Each release of the LCCI describes the economic picture of local communities and provides a powerful tool for city development officials, businesses, investors, and statistical agencies to better understand the everyday economic health of consumers, businesses, and the places they care about.


About the JPMorgan Chase Institute
The JPMorgan Chase Institute is a think tank dedicated to delivering data-rich analyses and expert insights for the public good. Its aim is to help decision makers–policymakers, businesses, and nonprofit leaders–appreciate the scale, granularity, diversity, and interconnectedness of the global economic system and use better facts, timely data, and thoughtful analysis to make smarter decisions to advance global prosperity. Drawing on JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s unique proprietary data, expertise, and market access, the Institute develops analyses and insights on the inner workings of the global economy, frames critical problems, and convenes stakeholders and leading thinkers. For more information visit: JPMorganChaseInstitute.com