Please update your browser.
In our recent report, The Consumer Response to a Year of Low Gas Prices, we quantified the impact of lower gas prices in 2015 on consumer spending across the nation. We observed that the drop in gas spending as a fraction of income varied geographically – with the largest drops in gas spending experienced in areas in the South and Midwest. In this brief, using the JPMorgan Chase Institute’s Local Consumer Commerce data, we explore the impact of lower gas prices in 2015 on consumer spending in 15 major metro areas – Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. We found that the two cities with the largest decelerations in non-gas spending–Houston and Dallas–are two of the three cities most exposed to the oil and gas industry.
The consumer response to lower gas prices might have differed across these metro areas for a number of reasons. First, the drop in gas prices in 2015 was much more tempered in California than in other parts of the country. Second, people in some cities spent a higher fraction of their income on gas than in others. As a result of these two factors, the drop in fuel spending between 2014 and 2015 was the equivalent of a 1.3 percent increase in annual income in Dallas compared to just a 0.3 percent increase in income in Los Angeles (Figure 1). Nine of the 15 cities were highly impacted by lower gas prices in that the drop in gas spending represented 0.9 percent or more of annual income. In the other six cities, the drop in gas spending represented at most 0.5 percent of annual income.
The JPMorgan Chase Institute is committed to delivering data-rich analyses and expert insights for the public good. In our recently released report The Consumer Response to a Year of Low Gas Prices, we quantified the impact of lower gas prices in 2015 on consumer spending across the nation. Our regularly updated Local Consumer Commerce Index measures the monthly year-over-year growth rate of everyday debit and credit card spending by over 50 million anonymized Chase customers across 15 cities in the U.S.