May average spending levels continued to be relatively healthy in May.at $104, similar to the $107 average in April. May was the fourth consecutive month that Americans' spending averaged $100 or higher.
In most years since 2009, May's spending average has been within $2 of the average for the entire year. There are three exceptions: May 2010 and May 2014, when Americans' spending rivaled or even matched their holiday spending highs in December, and May 2008, the highest monthly average not only for that year, but also in Gallup's entire trend.
Last month's average was the highest for May since 2008, when self-reported spending averaged $114. Americans' spending fell later that year as the global financial crisis took hold. By May 2009, their spending averaged about $50 less -- $63.
Among both higher- and lower-income earners, average spending in May was similar to April. Americans living in households earning $90,000 or more annually spent an average of $169 -- which is among their highest averages in the past year. Spending among Americans in households that earn less than $90,000 annually averaged $79. This too is among the highest rates for this group over the past year.