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Consumers' daily spending hits nearly 6-year high, Gallup poll finds

Average daily consumer spending reached a nearly six-year high last month, Gallup poll finds

Americans reported they spent more on average each day last month than at any time since 2008, boosted by a Memorial Day spending spree, according to Gallup poll results released Monday.

The self-reported average daily spending of $98 in May was up $10 from the previous month.

It was the best May performance since consumers reported spending an average of $114 daily in 2008, and was the highest monthly level since just before the financial crisis hit that fall.

The figures are self-reported estimates based on what consumers told pollsters they spent the previous day in stores, gas stations, restaurants and online, Gallup said. Normal monthly bills, as well as home and motor-vehicle purchases, aren't counted in the data.

Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

The Gallup poll results came after the Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending dropped 0.1% in April, the first monthly decline in a year.

There have been mixed signals about consumer confidence last month from private barometers. The Conference Board reported a slight increase in confidence in May compared with April, while the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported a drop.

Gallup's weekly economic confidence index has been flat for more than two months.

The big increase in daily spending in May was caused by "extraordinarily high spending levels" just after the Memorial Day weekend, Gallup said. The three-day average for May 27-29 was $134, the highest level since September 2008.

The late May spending was higher than the $129 three-day average consumers reported spending in the days before last Christmas, Gallup said.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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