U.S. consumers spent more money in May than in any month since October 2008. In a self-reporting poll from Gallup, consumers' average daily spending in May averaged $90, up from $86 in April. Consumer spending has averaged more than $80 a month since last December. Since Gallup began tracking spending in January 2008, the peak is $114 in March of that year.
Average spending among households with less than $90,000 in income rose to $77 in May, the highest its been since late 2008. Among higher income households, spending rose to $150 from an average of $140 in April. Peak highs for both income levels were established in May 2008, at $105 for incomes below $90,000 and $185 for higher incomes.
Because consumer spending is responsible for nearly 70% of U.S. gross domestic product, rising spending indicates that the country's economy is continuing to recover. Gallup notes, however, that its latest payroll-to-population rate may indicate a glitch in the recovery:
[The payroll to population rate] worsened to 43.9% in May and remains lower than it was in May of last year, meaning fewer Americans are working full time for an employer now than a year ago. The lack of recovery in this metric could be one of the reasons spending has yet to return to the more robust levels of early 2008.
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