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JPMorgan Chase Institute’s Local Consumer Commerce Index Shows a 2.7 Percent Increase in Consumer Spending Growth

Older consumers made a positive contribution to overall growth for the first time since 2015.

July 6, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Today, the JPMorgan Chase Institute released its Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI) for March 2017, which showed positive consumer spending growth in 13 of the 15 U.S. cities analyzed. Overall, year-over-year consumer spending increased by 2.7 percent in March. For the first time since January 2015, consumers between the ages of 55 and 64 made a positive contribution to growth.

Notably, every income quintile had larger contributions to growth in March 2017 as compared to February 2017. Additionally, all product types, with the exception of non-durable goods, had non-negative growth contributions.

Data visualization of the changes in local consumer spending growth over the last 25 months can be found online.

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-Ft. Worth, 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 financial health of the U.S. consumer and the vibrancy of the places where businesses operate.

“March saw the highest year-over-year growth in local consumer spending in over two years,” said Diana Farrell, President and CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Institute. “The growth was widespread and that means more consumers across all incomes and nearly all age groups are stepping up their spending. This could be a telling sign for where the U.S. economy is heading over the summer and the remainder of the year.”

Additional key highlights from the latest Index include:

  • Denver grew at 15.8 percent in March 2017, the fastest growth across all 15 LCC cities.
  • Consumers in the bottom income quintile saw the largest growth contribution amongst all income quintiles, contributing .9 percentage points.
  • Large business growth contributions grew from a 0.5 percentage point contribution in February 2017 to a 1.3 percentage point growth contribution in March 2017.
  • Fuel spending sustained higher than trend growth since November 2016 and contributed 1.1 percentage points to growth in March 2017.
  • Spending from consumers that reside in the same neighborhood as the merchant contributed 0.3 percentage points to growth in March 2017, the first positive contribution for these consumers since June 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 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: www.jpmorganchaseinstitute.com.