Gallup: U.S. Self-Reported Spending in August Best in Five Years

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But... but... President Obama is a loser! He's moving too fast/slow on Syria. Damn ditherer.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' self-reported daily spending averaged $95 in August, up from $89 in July. The latest spending estimate is the highest Gallup has measured in any month since a $99 reading in September 2008.

Gallup asks Americans on its Daily tracking survey to report how much they spent the prior day, excluding household bills and major purchases like a car or home. The data give an estimate of discretionary spending.

Gallup's spending measure has generally been trending upward since late 2012. From 2009 until November 2012, the monthly averages were consistently below $80. That "new normal" period in spending, tied to the sluggish economy and high unemployment rate, represented a dramatic change from 2008, the first year Gallup asked the question. In 2008, each monthly estimate exceeded $80, including four months with averages above $100.

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