Spending at restaurants made the only positive contribution of any product type. This is only the second time in the LCI series where the only positive contributions to growth occurred at restaurants. There was a widespread decline in growth rates across metro areas tracked by the LCI. Growth rates were 2.7 percentage points lower on average in December than in November. The negative contribution made by consumers over the age of 55 to spending growth this month demonstrates that even though growth rates may be relatively high for certain subsets of consumers (e.g. millennials), the impact of these subsets on top-line growth can be swamped by the consumers whose spending is a bigger share of overall growth.
Starting with the August 2017 refresh, the Local Commerce Index readjusted its geographic scope to 14 metro areas, omitting Seattle. This decision was driven by a desire to streamline our lens to focus on local transactions, and due to merchant-specific transaction data changes.
About the Index
Regularly released, the LCI will continue to describe the economic picture of local communities and provide a powerful tool for city development officials, businesses and investors, and statistical agencies to better understand the everyday economic health of consumers, businesses, and the places they care about.