US Consumer Starting to Slow Down

Apollo Chief Economist

Just when everyone is abandoning the recession call, the data starts to slow down.

1) The Restaurant Performance Index has sharply declined in recent months, see the first chart below.

2) Credit card and auto loan delinquencies continue to rise, and these trends will continue with the Fed on hold well into next year; see the second and third charts.

3) Weekly data for bank lending is slowing rapidly, and weekly credit card data shows that consumer spending on durables that require financing, such as furniture and electronics, is slowing, see the fourth and fifth charts.

The bottom line is that Fed hikes are starting to negatively impact consumer spending, as also shown in the weekly data in the sixth chart.

Weaker consumer spending is not surprising. The whole idea from the Fed raising interest rates is to slow down growth and ultimately inflation.

Restaurant performance is sharply slowing down.
Source: National Restaurant Association, Haver, Apollo Chief Economist
Credit card delinquencies are back at 2008 levels.
Source: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel / Equifax, Apollo Chief Economist
Auto loans are becoming seriously delinquent.
Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, Equifax, Haver Analytics, Apollo Chief Economist
Demand for loans falling sharply and small and large banks.
Source: Federal Reserve Board, Haver Analytics, Apollo Chief Economist.
Consumer spending on furniture and electronics are slowing.
Source: BEA, Haver Analytics, Apollo Chief Economist. Note: The weekly values represent the predicted percentage difference from the typical level of spending (prior to the pandemic declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020) after adjusting for day-of-week, month, and year effects, based on daily data. The typical level corresponds to a value of zero.
Retail sales are slowing.
Source: Redbook, Haver Analytics, Apollo Chief Economist

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