Spending so far this holiday season is much stronger than it has been the prior 3 years – at least according to Gallup Self-Reported Consumer Spending.
This is their data for the 14 day moving average of consumer spending. I lined up the data beginning November 1st, and each of the years are missing a few days, so this is not an exact day-to-day comparison.
But an exact day-to-day comparison isn’t necessary. The purple line – which is 2012 – is nearly $10 per day higher than it has been for the last few years. Not only that, but the peak number of $90 per day is the highest reading since the beginning of 2009. That is nearly 4 years of data.
This data leads me to believe the holiday shopping season will be strong for 2012. Of course, these numbers are far below the pre-crisis peaks of over $100 in February and January 0f 2008. I imagine spending in 2006 and 2007 would have peaked out at over $120 per day. So while this number of $90 is great news in a relative sense, we are still making ourselves poorer for no good reason. We can mint a coin and lower payroll taxes for everyone.