According to statistics from Chase bank’s Freedom card, Americans are increasing their purchase of big ticket items such as vehicles and housing. Their data shows that home improvement purchases are up 4% as did other categories that point to a commitment to self-improvement.
Other interesting trends:
Craft store purchases increase 91% over the last year, while spending on books and sporting goods increased at single digit levels. Even spending on lessons and classes was up 3%, further indicating an increased interest in self improvement.
At the same time, purchases of gasoline, consumer electronics, and office supplies all decreased by 5-7% over the same period last year, and are down further over two years.
What does this mean?
One way to look at this data is that people are staying home more and working on improving their homes and their lives. This is supported by the dramatic jump in craft store purchases and the modest decrease in gas purchases. Another way to interpret the decline in gasoline sales is the popularity of more fuel efficient vehicles combined with the recent moderation of gas prices.
As the economy continues to improve, credit card users remain cautious, but optimism is growing. Increased spending on both home and personal improvement project suggest that we may have finally turned a corner on our financial doldrums.