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American Consumer Spending Strong in Last Week of November

American Consumer Spending Strong in Last Week of November

by Rebecca Riffkin

Story Highlights

  • Daily spending reports averaged $110 the week of Thanksgiving
  • Spending reports were $10 higher than in Thanksgiving week 2013
  • Daily spending reports averaged $115 over Black Friday weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the last week of November, which included Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Americans' daily spending reports averaged $110. This average is much higher than those earlier in November and in previous months. There was a similar surge last year at this time, when spending jumped to an average of $100 during Thanksgiving week.

Daily U.S. Spending Estimates: Weekly Averages, Recent Trend

Gallup asks U.S. adults each night to report how much they spent "yesterday" in stores, restaurants, gas stations or online -- not counting home and vehicle purchases, or normal monthly bills -- to provide an indication of Americans' discretionary spending. In November as a whole, daily spending averaged $95, a $6 increase from October and slightly higher than the average in November 2013.

Americans typically report some of the highest daily spending averages during Thanksgiving week, as well as the weeks of Christmas, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. However, spending in Thanksgiving week has been significantly higher in each of the past two years than in any of the previous five years.

Daily Spending Estimates: November and Thanksgiving Week, 2008-2014

Spending Over Black Friday Weekend Appears Strong

Self-reported spending for the three days including Black Friday, and the following Saturday and Sunday, was strong, averaging $115. The three-day average that included spending on Saturday, Sunday and "Cyber Monday" remained strong, at $108.

Daily Spending Estimates: Three-Day Averages

This predictable uptick in spending is similar to the three-day rolling averages Gallup found during Black Friday week in 2013, which reached a high of $109 from Friday through Sunday.

Bottom Line

Americans' increased spending over the Thanksgiving weekend is predictable and yet a positive sign for the holiday shopping season. While other organizations have reported weaker Black Friday spending in stores, these data -- which include both in-person and online shopping -- confirm separate Gallup polling that predicts a slightly stronger holiday shopping season this year than in 2013.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on daily telephone interviews conducted on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with random samples of approximately 500 adults per day, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of 3,043 national adults interviewed in the week of Nov. 24-30, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The margin of error for the spending mean is ±$12.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how Gallup Daily tracking works.

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