U.S. Consumer Spending & Household Finances: January 2024
Consumer spending expanded at the end of 2023, with services categories driving most of the growth. Improving purchasing power throughout most of the year has helped encourage purchases amid higher and middle-income adults. On the other hand, lower income adults continue to feel the pinch of sustained price growth on many goods and services as well as higher debt servicing costs from elevated interest rates.
- Consumer spending strengthened at the end of 2023, with growth driven mainly by stronger services expenditures among higher income households.
- Not all categories are benefitting equally from strong demand: Groceries and gas are being deprioritized relative to other goods, and GenZers are increasingly abstaining from buying alcohol.
- While elevated interest rates are discouraging some consumers from taking on credit card or auto debt, more are leaning into BNPL.
About the authors
Kayla Bruun is a senior economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she analyzes consumer spending, inflation and household finance trends, leveraging the company’s proprietary high-frequency data.
Prior to joining Morning Consult, Kayla was a key member of the corporate strategy team at telecommunications company SES, where she produced market intelligence and industry analysis of mobility markets.
Kayla also served as an economist at IHS Markit, where she covered global services industries, provided price forecasts, produced written analyses and served as a subject-matter expert on client-facing consulting projects.
Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University and an MBA with a certificate in nonmarket strategy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Sofia Baig is an economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she works on descriptive and predictive analysis that leverages Morning Consult’s proprietary high-frequency data. Previously, she worked for the Federal Reserve Board as a quantitative analyst, focusing on topics related to monetary policy and bank stress testing. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College and a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Georgetown University.