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Consumer Commerce Declined 1.4 Percent in July 2017 in a Shift from Early 2017 Growth, According to New JPMorgan Chase Institute Data

Consumers under 35 continue to drive growth while consumers over 55 subtract from growth.

November 2, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the JPMorgan Chase Institute released its Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI) for July 2017, which showed declines in spending in 12 out of 15 cities analyzed. In a departure from five consecutive months of positive year-over-year growth beginning in February 2017, consumer spending across all 15 cities declined by 1.4 percent between July 2016 and July 2017.

Notably, Houston experienced a spending decline of 2.9 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, the biggest decline among the large LCC cities. New York City registered its first negative year-over-year growth rate in 2017, with a 1 percent decline in spending. Denver, San Francisco and Portland were the only three cities to register positive year-over-year growth rates in July 2017.

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, San Francisco, and Seattle. 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.

“After five months of positive growth, we see a downward shift across nearly all cities we track,” said Diana Farrell, President and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Institute. “Younger consumers and small businesses continue to drive growth, while wealthier and older consumers continue to subtract from growth. Notably, Houston registered a 2.9 percent decline in spending, the biggest decline among the large cities between July 2016 and July 2017. We’ll be watching closely to see how Houston’s economy was affected by Hurricane Harvey in our September data.”

Additional key highlights from the latest Index include:

  • Spending in New York declined by 1 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, the first negative growth in the city in 2017.
  • Houston experienced a spending decline of 2.9 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, the biggest decline among the large cities.
  • Consumer spending in Denver continued to grow at a year-over-year rate of 3.5 percent, cooling off from a year-over-year growth rate of 9.1 percent registered in June 2017.
  • Spending in San Francisco grew by 1.2 percent year-over-year in July 2017, the only mid-sized city to register a positive growth rate.
  • Local spending among large cities declined by 1.8 percent year-over-year in July 2017.
  • Consumers under 35 contributed 1.3 percentage points to year-over-year growth in July 2017, with consumers under 25 contributing 0.6 percentage points to growth, and consumers between 25 and 34 contributing 0.7 percentage points to growth.
  • Consumers 55 and over subtracted 1.7 percentage points from growth between July 2016 and July 2017.

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 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 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: jpmorganchaseinstitute.com.