Profiles of Local Consumer Commerce: Insights from 12 Billion Transactions in 15 U.S. Metro Areas
35 Pages Posted: 16 May 2017
Date Written: December 9, 2015
In Profiles of Local Consumer Commerce, we show that the year-to-year growth of consumers’ everyday spending on most goods and services in 15 major U.S. metropolitan areas has slowed dramatically, from 5 percent in the second quarter of 2014 to 0.5 percent in the comparable period in 2015. We use 12.4 billion credit and debit card transactions of 48 million JPMorgan Chase customers conducted over 34 months to analyze the growth of local consumer commerce at business establishments in 15 metropolitan areas. We analyze how the growth of local consumer commerce is shaped by the age and income of the consumer, the products sold by the business and its size, and the residence of the consumer relative to the business. Our findings are fivefold. First, middle- and high-income consumers, and consumers ages 65 and older, were responsible for most of the slowdown in growth, while low-income consumers and those under 35 maintained relatively stable spending growth. Second, spending at large businesses shrunk more than spending at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), though SMEs accounted for almost as much of the slowdown in local consumer commercial spending as large businesses. Third, the growth of spending by consumers at businesses in their own metropolitan areas slowed the most, particularly at businesses in their own neighborhoods. Fourth, spending growth at businesses that sell fuel and other nondurable goods slowed dramatically, and not only because of price declines. Finally, strong and diverse growth across most metropolitan areas from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 has slowed to tepid growth across the board from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015. The JPMorgan Chase Institute continues to issue updated data on a monthly basis on our website. In doing so, we provide an ongoing source of rich data that can advance the understanding of local consumer commerce in aggregate and in the 15 selected metropolitan areas.
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