Explore trends shaping local and global economies.
High childcare costs threaten women’s progress
Do rising childcare costs continue to pose a risk to post-pandemic gains in female employment?
Small Business Checkpoint: Striking a balance on credit
Although small business credit card balances are rising, elevated deposit levels provide support.
Consumer Checkpoint: Amidst the freeze, is confidence thawing?
Though winter weather softened spending in January, consumers’ sentiment is on the rise and their financial health remains strong.
Bank of America Participant Pulse
Exploring the health of today’s consumer through 401(k) and Health Savings Account key metrics.
On the move: West side story
The West’s high-income and single-household populations are moving out. But why?
Spendscape: Decoding 2023’s spending frontiers and the road ahead
What was in, what was out, and what’s in store for 2024.
Consumer Morsel: Sparks fly on local spending during live events
Live events, such as the Super Bowl, stadium concerts and marathons, boost consumer spending in host cities.
Is the EV transition running out of charge?
As auto sales strengthen, sales of electric vehicles remain fairly soft; can hybrids bridge the gap?
Small Business Checkpoint: In good shape and handling hurdles
Small businesses stayed steady despite headwinds in 2023, though high inflation could continue to pressure profits in 2024.
Consumer Checkpoint: Out with the old, in with the new?
Consumers remain resilient as wage gains support low- and middle-income households, though some plan to pull back in 2024.
Let’s recap: 2023 at a glance
As the year comes to a close, we highlight some of the top economic themes and trends of 2023.
Small Business Checkpoint: Ending 2023 on a good note – 5 themes
Small businesses appear to be ending 2023 on a good note, and we highlight five themes to watch as we head into the new year.
Consumer Checkpoint: Happy holidays?
Holiday shopping and income growth supported consumer spending in November, with younger consumers more driven by promotions.
Consumer Checkpoint: Another month of moderation
Low- and high-income household spending growth converges, high-income wage growth ticks up, and deposits remain elevated.
Regional Morsel: Southern comforts
The South’s economy has been growing rapidly with consumer spending strong in the third quarter and optimism for next year.
An uneven housing market: Older Millennials feeling the hit
Home purchasing has slowed for younger generations, especially for older Millennials who are facing rising financial burdens.
Utility bills: Cooler spell in 2023 but heating up longer term
Utility payments have risen nearly 20% since 2018, weighing especially on lower-income consumers and those living in the South.
Signs of a broadening labor market slowdown?
The labor market slowdown, while gradual, has broadened. Job moves are also slowing and pay raises for movers are sharply lower.
On the move: New city, new job, new pay
Boston and Portland are attracting workers with new job prospects while those moving to Seattle are seeing the biggest pay jump.
Rising childcare costs starting to bite
Childcare payments have risen over 30% since 2019, pressuring families to spend less and draw on savings more across all incomes.
Consumer Checkpoint: Not falling in the Fall
Consumer spending in September remains supported by a resilient labor market, but slowing wage growth and rising childcare payments pose risks. Learn more here.
Will silver spenders continue to outpace the young?
The gap in spending growth between the older and younger generations may narrow, but is unlikely to completely disappear.
Small Business Checkpoint: Small business job growth catching up
Small business hiring is catching up to overall job growth, although higher interest rates and quality of labor remain concerns.
Gig work back in favor as wages slide
Moderating wage growth has led to a small uptick in gig work, particularly driven by ridesharing and younger generations.
Northeast: Present imperfect, but a ‘fab’ future?
Though the Northeast is facing population loss, it also sees strong consumer spending and future manufacturing growth.
Student Loans: FAQs
We answer six frequently asked questions around student loans and the possible impact from the resumption of repayments.
Consumer Checkpoint: Not such a cruel summer
While card balances and student loan payments begin to heat up, consumer spending remains stable and deposit balances elevated.
Unpacking summer travel
Consumer travel demand was resilient this summer, but data suggests we’ve moved from “exuberance” to “normalization.”
Small Business Checkpoint: Business formation boom
New business formation is booming and is notably strong in the healthcare sector, which is seeing spending and profit growth.
Central business districts: City strugglers
We revisit spending in city centers and find that while northern cities continue to struggle, spending in southern cities is up.
Are rising insurance payments crimping consumers?
With median insurance payments rising an average of 5.7% since 2020, how are growing home and auto premiums impacting consumers?
Do deposit buffers still matter?
Consumer perceptions of their finances have deteriorated, yet deposit levels remain elevated and spending continues. Why?
Consumer Checkpoint: In the pink
Consumer spending had a summer bounce in July, with lower- and middle-income households looking particularly resilient.
Small Business Checkpoint: Construction boom?
Small business payments grew in July led by construction spending as demand for building in the manufacturing sector ramps up.
On the move: Which cities have the biggest housing shortage?
Which U.S. cities are facing long term housing shortages? Our latest migration flow analysis explains.
Consumer Checkpoint: Renters feel the squeeze
Overall consumer spending remains stable, but higher housing costs are impacting spending by renters more than homeowners.
Small Business Checkpoint: A deeper look at payroll spending
As small businesses face increasingly tight profit margins, payroll spending growth is beginning to slow.
Sector Morsel: A new look at retail inventory
Brick-and-mortar retail: Weaker foundations
The pandemic-era rise in online retail spending has continued, posing real challenges for brick-and-mortar stores.
Consumer Checkpoint: The young and the restless
While consumer spending has stabilized, rising housing costs and pending student loan payments are pressuring younger consumers.
Small Business Checkpoint: Loan inflows remain stable
Despite tightening credit conditions, loan financing for small businesses has not shown a meaningful decline.
Housing Morsel: The Great Migration continues
Our near real-time estimates of migration flows suggest a continuation of pandemic-era moving trends.
What lies beneath: 4 key findings on the labor market
We highlight some areas of weakness beneath the surface of a buoyant labor market.
Consumer Checkpoint: Higher-income pullback
While the overall labor market remains buoyant, higher-income households are seeing some pockets of weakness.
Regional Morsel: Not yet High Noon for the West
Our analysis suggests the western U.S. is not in recession, with consumer spending strengthening this year relative to the broader U.S.
Small Business Checkpoint: Less optimistic, slower spending
Though small business payments levels remain strong, small businesses are pulling back on spending and slowing hiring.
Travel recovery: Bumps along the way
Residual pent-up demand for cruises and international trips is helping drive ongoing travel spending.
The 101 of 529
Beyond student loans and grants, 529s remain a significant way to pay for education. We discuss five contribution trends.
How are middle-income consumers doing?
While this cohort’s spending lagged the average over the pandemic, there are signs of a catch-up at the start of 2023.
Consumer Checkpoint: No madness in March spending
While spending was no slam dunk due to weaker wage growth and lower tax refunds, consumers continue to have financial buffers.
Has the gig economy peaked?
The recent decline in gig workers is driven by lower demand for deliveries and a rotation into traditional labor markets.
Small Business Checkpoint: Credit crunch?
Despite concerns of tighter lending, small businesses saw little disruption to their operations in March.
Leisure activities: A return to socialization?
Consumers are returning to social leisure activities post-pandemic, but will inflation threaten their good time?
Regional Morsel: Midwestern Stars
While not a beneficiary of domestic migration like the South, Midwestern cities stand out for consumer goods spending growth.
Consumer Checkpoint: Shifting gears, but still going forward
Consumer spending growth decelerated in February, but continues to be supported by positive fundamentals.
Housing Morsel: What is driving the Sun Belt boom?
Exploring city-level housing data to uncover the factors driving an increase in rent and mortgage payments across the Southern US.
Small Business Checkpoint
Higher operational costs are squeezing small business profits, though resilient consumer spending provides some relief.