Consumer Checkpoint

Springing into January

Headshot of David Tinsley

David Tinsley

Headshot of Anna Zhou

Anna Zhou

Headshot of Taylor Bowley

Taylor Bowley

February 2023

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.

Key takeaways

  • We have seen signs of a strengthening in consumer spending at the start of this year – Bank of America credit and debit card spending per household rose 5.1% year-over-year (YoY) in January, compared to 2.2% YoY in December. Total payments across all channels (Automated Clearing House (ACH), Bill Pay, Credit and Debit Card, Wires, Person-to-Person, Cash and Check) grew 7.5% YoY.
  • This increase partly reflects the comparison with an Omicron-impacted January 2022, but we also think an increase in minimum wages and social security may be helping consumers, along with the stellar labor market.
  • More broadly, the data suggests that while lower income consumers are pressured, they still have solid cash buffers and borrowing capacity. Even for the lowest income cohorts this should provide support for some time yet.

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