Commentary

Holiday Consumer Spending

Recent spending data from the Bank of America in November, 2016, explored spending trends in entertainment, food, retail and travel categories aggregated from more than 40 million active Bank of America credit and debit card accounts during this holiday period.

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Some of the key findings include:

  • Consumers spent the most on gas the Friday before Thanksgiving
  • Grocery store spending was highest on Thanksgiving Eve
  • Millennials opted to shop in-store on Black Friday
  • On Cyber Monday, online retail spending doubled 
  • Party-goers went to bars, nightclubs and lounges after the holiday, rather than before
  • On Giving Tuesday, total donations to charitable and social services organizations was 71% higher than the daily average in November

More Specifically, Consumer Spending by Category in November 2016, was:

Gas

  • Consumers spent the most on gas the Friday before Thanksgiving, (19% higher transactions and spending compared to the November average)
  • By contrast, Thanksgiving Day had gas transactions 18% below the November average, and total spending was 26% below average

Groceries 

  • Grocery store spending was highest on Thanksgiving Eve. Total transactions were 58% above the daily average, and spending was 62% above the daily average
  • The most expensive average purchase cost at grocery stores ($53 per card swipe) occurred on the Sunday before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving weekend:

  • The average retail shopper spent $179 during Thanksgiving weekend (November 24 November 28), with an average card swipe of $70
  • On average, consumers aged 35-50 spent the most ($203), outpacing consumers aged 51-65 ($182), millennials ($159), and consumers 65 and older ($140)

Black Friday :

  • Black Friday remained the peak day for spending during the holiday season; retail transactions were 70% higher than the average day in November
  • On Black Friday, the average transaction cost ($77 per swipe) was 23% higher than the November daily average
  • The average online retail purchase cost on Black Friday of $80 was 19% higher than November’s daily average

Cyber Monday

  • Online retail shopping peaked on Cyber Monday, with 87% more transactions than the November average

Bars/Nightclubs/Lounges

  • Consumers went out after Thanksgiving rather than the night before
  • Spending and transactions on Thanksgiving Eve were down 9% across age groups compared to the November daily average
  • Conversely, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, spending was 74% above average and transactions were 67% above average

Charitable Donations

  • On Giving Tuesday, total donations to charitable and social services organizations was 71% higher than the daily average in November
  • While people aged 65 and older had the highest average contribution ($116), millennials gave back the lowest average amount ($58)

 

 

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