We are starting to see something of a pattern showing consumers are minding their pennies a bit more than they were even a year ago.
This falls into the discretionary spending category, treats such as a night out at a restaurant or a bar and it was pinched a bit in November. We now have 11 months worth of information on this indicator for 2019 and it seemed we were gradually tightening our belts as the year went on.
August was by far the biggest month for spending in restaurants and bars. That caps what is the strongest time of the year – May through August or September. Then as the falls and winter take over, outdoor patios close and spending in these establishments begins to shrink.
This past year saw sales these businesses in November lag behind October, something that is to be expected, but it also trailed spending levels in November a year earlier. So we’re tracking to cut back the amount of money we devote to these activities and, given that prices for imported products are rising, the reduction is even more noticeable.