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.

Headshot of David Tinsley

David Tinsley

Headshot of Taylor Bowley

Taylor Bowley

Headshot of Liz Everett Krisberg

Liz Everett Krisberg

Headshot of Vanessa Cook

Vanessa Cook

January 2024

Key takeaways

  • Consumer spending finished solidly in 2023, with total card spending per household increasing by 0.2% year-over-year (YoY) in December, according to Bank of America internal data. On a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, per household spending was positive for the second month in a row, rising 0.1% month-over-month (MoM). Holiday spending started strong, but lagged somewhat in December.
  • Higher-income households' after-tax wages and salaries growth dipped into negative YoY territory at the end of 2023, while lower-income households' growth increased, underscoring that the negative gap between these cohorts' spending growth may remain at the start of 2024.
  • How are consumers shaping up for 2024? The Bank of America Winter Spending Survey suggests consumers are planning to pull back a bit this year, potentially trimming their spending on meals out and other 'experiences.'

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.