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

Report summary

As inflation continues to outpace incomes, consumer wallets are being pinched from all sides: Real incomes have fallen, the savings rate has tanked, and consumers are having to rely more heavily on credit to afford monthly expenses. As the holiday shopping season approaches, consumers’ capacity and willingness to splurge is looking more and more precarious.

Key Takeaways

  • Real consumer spending declined in September as purchasing power slipped for a second consecutive month.
  • Services purchases are increasingly vulnerable to affordability challenges as rising prices for these categories discourage buyers.
  • Housing price growth, a critical driver of core inflation, is showing signs of slowing as rising mortgage rates discourage homebuying, but it may take time for this development to be reflected in the Consumer Price Index.

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.