May is prom season and everyone loves a June bride—and according to the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index, consumer spending in the second quarter of 2013 jumped to accommodate these events.
During the months of April, May and June, the “costume retail” category saw a 14% increase in year-over-year spending. The category includes prom and wedding finery, so it makes sense that the spring season is the biggest time of year for these expenses.
Despite the introduction of new tablets, mobile phones and electronic readers, consumers were not motivated to buy. Spending on consumer electronics was down by 7% this year over last. The two-year trend for second quarter spending from 2011 to 2013 fell by a total of 13%.
Spring 2012 compared with Spring 2013
Overall spending was up 1% over the second quarter in 2012, indicating slightly improved consumer confidence overall. The 14% growth in the fancy dress-up arena was the biggest jump, followed by an 8% increase in book buying, 7% each in the sporting goods and museum categories, and 6% on lessons and classes.
Besides electronic devices, consumers spent less on gas. Both categories saw a 7% decrease in spending compared with the second quarter of 2012.
Two years ago: Spring 2011 to Spring 2013
Going back two years, the Chase index compared second quarter 2011 spending to second quarter 2013. Once again, the two categories to experience a fall in spending were gas and consumer electronics, with books and lessons and classes experiencing the greatest growth.
Over two years, people increased their overall spending by 6%. Book purchases increased by 29%, lessons and classes by 24%, museums spending went up 19%, and sporting goods spending rose 16%. As mentioned above, consumer electronics purchases fell by 13%, while gas spending only had an 8% decrease from 2011 to 2013.
Chase uses aggregated data from their cardholders to create quarterly spending reports. The Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index is based on Chase Freedom cardholder spending and tracks customers’ spending patterns across all demographics and regions.