Consumer Spending Slips Slightly, Travel Soars
Good news for the hospitality and travel industry, as a new report from First Data shows that while overall consumer spending slipped in May, travel spending shot up 6.2 percent, leading all industries tracked by the point-of-sale network.
According to the report, overall spending for the month slipped 1 percent, while travel grew even faster than its 4.9 percent gain in April—and significantly ahead of its 2.3 percent growth rate a year ago.
Other industries that posted gains included foodservice and drinking places (up 3.8 percent), as well as food and beverage stores (up 2.4 percent—a big increase over 0.3 percent growth pace in April). Sharply down before the summertime travel season ramps up, gas stations were down 10.6 percent as gas prices remained significantly lower than last May.
In retail, spending growth reached 1.1 percent, with electronics and appliances up 2 percent (up from 0.5 percent in April), general merchandise stores were up 4 percent and health and personal care stores posted a 6.9 percent growth rate, up from 5.4 percent in April.
The numbers are part of First Data’s May 2016 SpendTrend report, which is a macroeconomic indicator based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network.
Widening the scope with other big-ticket economic indicators, the housing market remains very strong even with new home sales relatively soft, initial unemployment claims remain near historic lows (at 259,000 last week), and the American Institute of Architects reporting healthy demand for all building types.
We’re building everywhere these days, even with lingering uncertainty with the political situation in Europe and our own country’s heated presidential contest.