US consumer spending shows a puzzling uptick in the latest JPM high-frequency data

That’s not what you would expect

US supplemental unemployment benefits were cut off at the start of the month but in a counter-intuitive move, spending rose. JPMorgan card-spending data showed a significant rise in the latest period up to Aug 7 in figures released today.

The main boost to spending appears to be in recurring non-discretionary spending like utilities, child card, telecom and insurance but there’s also an uptick in discretionary.

There’s clear a start-of-month effect here:

consumer spending

Digging through the report, it’s tough to see where the spending is coming from because  there’s also a notable downtick in retail, restaurants and recreation spending.

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