Chase Consumer Spending Softens in Q1

first_imgChase: Consumer Spending Softens in Q1 Following a “”robust”” holiday shopping season, consumer spending slowed to a more cautious pace in this year’s first quarter, according to new data from the “”Chase Freedom””:https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/Default.aspx Lifestyle Index.[IMAGE]The index shows overall spending was down 9 percent from the last quarter of 2012, falling to a level about even with last year’s first quarter.[COLUMN_BREAK]””We see a continued rise in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ consumer,”” said Phil Christian, general manager of Chase Freedom. “”As consumers keep an eye on the economy and its performance, we’re observing ‘wait-and-see’ behavior in their spending patterns. Consumers are taking a breather on retail purchases after the busy holiday shopping season and instead are investing in personal improvement areas–education, exercise and home upgrades.””As winter gave way to spring, March saw consumers shift their spending focus to home improvement projects (up 25 percent from February) and clothing/apparel (up 28 percent).Moreover, Chase predicts continued gains in those areas as the warmer seasons come upon us fully.””Our data indicates that consumers are already starting to plan their summer vacations and invest in home improvement projects, both of which usually pick up in the second quarter, which may be an indicator of their confidence in the long-term economy,”” Christian said. Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Confidence Consumer spending Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-04-24 Tory Barringerlast_img