Consumer Checkpoint

December 2022

End of year health check

Consumer Checkpoint is a regular publication from Bank of America Institute. It aims to provide a holistic and real-time estimate of U.S. consumers’ spending and their financial well-being, leveraging the depth and breadth of Bank of America proprietary data. Any such Bank of America proprietary data is not intended to be reflective or indicative of, and should not be relied upon as, the results of operations, financial conditions or performance of Bank of America.

Key takeaways

  • Consumers have proven resilient in 2022. While they are likely to have a tougher time next year, especially if the labor market deteriorates, they are starting 2023 in decent financial shape. Deposit balances are coming down, but slowly, and credit card usage does not currently look out of line with pre-pandemic levels.
  • After a slow start compared to 2021, holiday shopping picked up toward the end of November. Nonetheless, overall retail spending across November looks soft (down 0.3% month-over-month (MoM), up 0.2% year-over-year (YoY)), and total spending continues to be supported by spending on services rather than goods.
  • The growth in buy now, pay later (BNPL) indicates that some holiday spending may be spread over the coming months, meaning we may need to wait longer for a clear picture. Indeed, we find some evidence that BNPL actually leads to higher overall spending, especially for those with incomes below $50k.


Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.