Stimulus checks are being spent at an impressive clip: JPM

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

Stimulus checks in, stimulus checks out.

Consumers are wasting no time spending their stimulus checks, new data out of J.P. Morgan Chase shows. Over the past seven days ending March 19 as more Americans have received their checks, spending on Chase cards skyrocketed 23.9% (see chart below). That's up sharply from growth rates under 10% from January right on up to the latest round of stimulus payments. Some of the largest gains have come at supermarkets (8.2% increase in the last seven days) and wholesale clubs and discount stores (23.7% increase).

The latest round of stimulus checks were sizable for most households, so it's no shock to see the beginning of very large spending increases.

Consumers are wasting no time spending their stimulus checks.
Consumers are wasting no time spending their stimulus checks. Source: J.P. Morgan. 7-day avergae of total spending. Data through March 19

Roughly 90% of American households were eligible for new stimulus checks, according to CNN. For those eligible, they stood to receive a $1,400 check. Considering dependents are included, a couple with two children could receive up to $5,600.

Besides buying groceries, Yahoo Finance's Reggie Wade reports consumers appear to be purchasing footwear at an aggressive clip with their stimulus checks. Athletic footwear and apparel spending rose 19.5% year-over-year for the week ending March 13 vs. 13.2% the week prior, per fresh data out of Bank of America.

Once travel restrictions ease, it's likely companies that sell experiences such as Disney and Hilton could also benefit from stimulus check spending.

"I am pleased that recent trends have been so positive," one top travel CEO told Yahoo Finance this week.

But at its core, the spending increases likely reflect the lingering financial reality for those receiving the stimulus checks. In effect, they need the stimulus checks to buy necessities for themselves and their family.

Most Americans said in a recent Yahoo Finance/Harris Poll that compared to before the pandemic, their household finances remain unchanged (52%). Only 1-in-5 reported improvements in their household finances compared to pre-pandemic. More than a quarter (29%) of Americans said their household finances have worsened because of the pandemic.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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