Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index Closed 2021 on a Strong Note | Trade and Industry Development

Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index Closed 2021 on a Strong Note

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Jan 18, 2022
Visa announced that the U.S. Spending Momentum Index was 108.4 in December, its strongest reading for the month since the start of the index.
Visa announced that the U.S. Spending Momentum Index (SMI) was 108.4 in December (seasonally adjusted), its strongest reading for the month since the start of the index. For the last three months of the year, the SMI was 110.3, also a high for the fourth quarter of the year.
 
The Visa SMI is an economic indicator of the health of consumer spending. When the Visa SMI rises above 100, the consumer spending momentum is strengthening and when it falls below 100, the spending momentum is weakening as fewer consumers are spending more relative to the previous year.
 
By category, the SMI for discretionary purchases fell 4.9 points from the previous month to 103. The SMI for non-discretionary purchases rose 0.1 points to 99.9. On a regional basis, the SMI fell the most in the Midwest and South, with both declining 4 points for the month. The Northeast reading fell 2.5 points and the West slid 1.8 points. The West was the strongest performing region in December with an SMI reading of 110.1.
 
“The SMI’s strong readings from October through December suggests that consumer spending ended 2021 on a strong note,” said Wayne Best, Visa’s Chief Economist. “However this month’s SMI reading additionally shows that there were adverse impacts to consumer spending in December, likely related to both the virus spread and severe weather across much of the country.”
 
The Visa SMI is an economic indicator of the health of consumer spending. The SMI provides insight into what drives upturns and downturns in spending by measuring the breadth of the momentum supporting these trends. The Visa SMI is based on a sample of aggregated, depersonalized VisaNet data. Visa adjusts this data through proprietary methods to exclude factors that do not reflect spending momentum. The resulting sample data is then aggregated using a diffusion index framework where index values are scored from 0 to 200. When the Visa SMI rises above 100, the consumer spending momentum is strengthening and when it falls below 100, the spending momentum is weakening as fewer consumers are spending more relative to the previous year. The index is adjusted for day of week, month, holidays, and broad annual trends, and these seasonal adjustments are subject to revision each year.
 
The Visa SMI does not take into account the volume of payments; nor does it rely on all Visa-branded credentials, and therefore does not reflect Visa operational or financial performance. It is intended for informational purposes only and is offered on an “as is” basis without any warranties of any kind, express or implied. Each SMI report is as of the publication date.
 
Eligible Visa clients in the U.S. may access more detailed and customized insights at the national, regional and local spending level, including spending on the main categories of goods and services.
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