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Highest customer spending in U.S. for any March since 2008

Staff Writer |
Americans' daily self-reports of spending averaged $100 in March, about the same as the $101 average in February.

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This is the highest spending estimate for any March in Gallup's tracking since 2008, topping the $89 from March 2013 and 2016.

March has not generally been one of the higher spending months over the past decade; it had the lowest monthly spending averages in 2008 and 2009.

The latest figure is the eighth daily spending average of $100 or more that Gallup has recorded for any given month during nine years of tracking the metric.

Half of these three-digit monthly spending averages have occurred in the past year, while the other four took place in 2008 before the global financial crisis in the fall.

The March average is based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking throughout the month.

Gallup asks Americans each night to report how much they spent the previous day, excluding spending on normal household bills and major purchases such as a home or car. The measure gives an indication of discretionary spending.

In recent years, March has more often than not yielded a spending average that is at least a few dollars higher than February's average.

But it's not unprecedented for spending to remain flat in March, as it did in 2014, along with this year; or to decrease, as it did in 2008 and 2009.

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