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U.S. Inflation and Consumer Spending Charts September 2023

Chart Pack

Report summary

This Chart Pack provides a curated summary of Morning Consult’s proprietary Economic Intelligence data on U.S. consumer spending and inflation.

U.S. consumers reported lower spending in August after splurging on discretionary services and retail goods through the early part of the summer. An energy-driven bump in inflation, rising debt obligations and a gently cooling labor market appear to be pushing some consumers to renew their focus on financial stability.

Chart Pack highlights:

  • Morning Consult’s measure of average monthly consumer spending decreased by 5.8% in August following a smaller contraction in July.
  • Gen Zers’ reported monthly spending on education, including tuition, supplies and student debt payments, jumped last month to its highest point since tracking began in September 2020.
  • Lower-income consumers have reduced monthly spending on food over the past three years. In August, this group spent only about 76% as much on grocery and restaurant purchases as they did in September 2020.
  • Despite much slower inflation compared with a year ago, consumers have grown increasingly price sensitive over the past year for goods and nonhousing services.

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