Consumer Checkpoint

Consumer spending had a summer bounce in July, with lower- and middle-income households looking particularly resilient.

Headshot of David Tinsley

David Tinsley

Headshot of Anna Zhou

Anna Zhou

Headshot of Taylor Bowley

Taylor Bowley

Headshot of Liz Everett Krisberg

Liz Everett Krisberg

August 2023

Key takeaways

  • July consumer spending returned to positive year-over-year (YoY) territory. Bank of America internal card spending per household rose 0.1% YoY in July, compared to a 0.2% YoY decline in June, helped by July 4th holiday spending, promotions from online retailers and 'movie mania.'
  • But different income groups are feeling differently. While lower- and middle-income households remain resilient, higher-income households still appear to be under some pressure from slower wage growth and incrementally weaker labor markets. But this is probably manageable and BofA Global Research now sees a soft landing with no U.S. recession.
  • Deposit buffers have provided ballast to consumer spending and analysis around hypothetical forward-looking scenarios suggest that they will continue to do so for some time.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.

Consumer Checkpoint is a regular publication from Bank of America Institute. It aims to provide a holistic and real-time estimate of U.S. consumers’ spending and their financial well-being, leveraging the depth and breadth of Bank of America proprietary data. Any such Bank of America proprietary data is not intended to be reflective or indicative of, and should not be relied upon as, the results of operations, financial conditions or performance of Bank of America.