Consumer Checkpoint: Happy holidays?

Holiday shopping and income growth supported consumer spending in November, with younger consumers more driven by promotions.

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

December 2023

Key takeaways

  • The onset of the holiday season boosted consumption in November, with spending on holiday items up 1% year-over-year (YoY), according to Bank of America internal data. Overall consumer spending growth returned to positive territory, with total card spending per household up 0.5% YoY, after a 0.5% fall in October.
  • Younger generations' spending growth has lagged older generations generally in 2023. This appears to be playing out in holiday shopping as well, though with some signs that promotion-hungry younger generations started ramping up spending in late November.
  • Fundamentals look largely supportive for younger people in our view, with still fairly decent (if slowing) wage growth and elevated deposits relative to 2019, according to Bank of America internal data. However, student loan repayments and onerous housing and childcare costs may yet dampen festive spirits (and spending).

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.