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JPMorgan Chase Institute’s Local Consumer Commerce Index Shows a 1.5 Percent Increase in Consumer Spending Growth in December 2016

Ends a period of sustained declines that began in July 2016.

March 30, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Today, the JPMorgan Chase Institute released its Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI) for December 2016, which showed that 14 of the 15 US cities analyzed had higher year-over-year consumer spending growth rates in December than they did in November. Overall year-over-year consumer spending growth increased by 1.5 percent in December – ending a period of sustained declines that began in July 2016. Non-durable spending rebounded significantly relative to November, contributing 1.2 percentage points to overall growth.

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

For the first time since February 2016, the drag on growth from consumers in the top income quintile (-1.1 percentage points) was offset by growth contributions of consumers in the bottom income quintile (1.1 percentage points). Meanwhile, consumers between the ages of 35 and 54 jointly made their first positive growth contribution since April 2016.

This 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, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. By looking at actual, de-identified financial transactions, LCCI offers an ongoing, dynamic view of the health and vibrancy of the U.S. consumer and the places where businesses operate.

“December 2016 brought some encouraging trends including the shift from a period of sustained declines to this increase in consumer spending growth,” said Diana Farrell, President and CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Institute. “This increase in growth was widespread with 14 of the 15 cities we analyze showing higher year-over-year growth rates than they did in November.”

The key highlights from the latest Index include:

  • Consumers under 35 made a contribution of 1.9 percentage points in December 2016.
  • Consumers in the bottom income quintile closed out 2016 by continuing their trend of strong contributions to growth, contributing 1.1 percentage points to growth in December 2016.
  • Contributions from small businesses cooled slightly, falling from a 0.9 percentage point contribution in November 2016 to 0.1 percentage point contribution in December 2016. By contrast, large businesses contributed 1.5 percentage points to growth in December 2016, up from flat growth in November and the largest contribution of any business size in that month.
  • Houston was the only large LCCI city in December 2016 to not register a positive growth rate. Regardless, the 2 percent contraction is the smallest contraction for Houston since March 2016.

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

  • The LCCI captures actual transactions, instead of self-reported measures of how consumers think they spend.
  • The LCCI provides timely data on spending in 15 major metropolitan areas; such geographic granularity is unavailable in most other spending measures. These 15 cities mirror the geographic and economic diversity of larger metropolitan areas in the United States and account for 32 percent of retail sales nationwide.
  • The index 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 JPMorgan Chase Institute
The JPMorgan Chase Institute is a global 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: www.jpmorganchaseinstitute.com.