Consumer Checkpoint: No underlying leaps in February

Consumer spending momentum is soft but stable, though there are signs lower-income households’ spending growth is slowing.

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David Tinsley

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Joe Wadford

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Taylor Bowley

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Liz Everett Krisberg

March 2024

Key takeaways

  • Total card spending per household rose 2.9% year-over-year in February, according to Bank of America internal data. However this strength largely reflected the extra day due to the leap year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, spending rose 0.4% month-over-month, rebounding from the drop of 0.3% in January. Overall, consumer spending momentum appears soft, but stable.
  • Lower-income households' spending growth appears to have slackened. This could partly reflect some loss of momentum at the lower end of the labor market. Higher-income households' spending remains weak, but is stronger at the very top end (income above $600K).
  • We see a continued rise in the proportion of households using 'buy now, pay later,' but at a much slower pace. Our latest data shows adoption has slowed across all income groups, but particularly in higher-income households.

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.