U.S. Consumer Spending & Inflation Report: August 2022

Report summary

As elevated inflation continues, the U.S. consumer is straining but does not appear to have broken. From June to July, U.S. consumers reported nominal improvement in spending amid resilient jobs and wage growth. After adjusting for inflation, however, real spending declined year over year for all but the highest earners.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. consumers reported a nominal increase in spending in July, but purchasing power continues to suffer amid persistently high inflation.
  • Spending allocations are shifting, with consumers reserving a growing share of wallet for essential goods and discretionary services.
  • Amid rapidly changing purchasing behavior, softer demand may help ease supply constraints for some items — particularly discretionary goods.

About the authors

A headshot photograph of Kayla Bruun
Kayla Bruun
Senior Economist

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.

Follow her on Twitter @KaylaBruun. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]

A headshot photograph of Scott Brave
Scott Brave
Head of Economic Analytics

Scott Brave previously worked at Morning Consult in economic analysis.