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Local Consumer Commerce Index – March 2016

The JPMorgan Chase Institute recently released Q1 2016 updates for its Local Consumer Commerce Index (LCCI), a measure of the year-over-year growth rate of Chase debit and credit card spending1. The LCCI captures point-of-purchase data to provide a local snapshot of consumer spending in 15 cities and their surrounding metro areas.


  • Consumer spending for Q1 2016 in the city of Chicago increased moderately, with year-over-year growth rates of 2.9% in January, 3.2% in February, and -0.9% in March.
  • For the same period, consumer spending across the Chicago metro area slowed slightly, with year-over-year growth rates of 0.6% in January, 1.3% in February, and -1.7% in March.
  • Spending at small businesses throughout the region increased by 3.7%, while spending at medium and large businesses declined by a respective -5.9% and -0.5%. It is not clear what share of growth is a function of increased access to and/or use of debit and credit card readers.
  • The Chicago region’s consumer spending growth is attributed to increased local spending on restaurants, nondurable goods – such as apparel, food, medical commodities, and recreational goods – and other services.

Illustrated in the following chart, year-over-year growth in consumer spending has been driven by increased spending at small businesses for the last 18 consecutive months.

 LCCI BizSize 070116

The following chart demonstrates year-over-year change in consumer spending based on how closely consumers live to the point of purchase. Although a higher than average share (33.4%) of Chase purchases in the Chicago region are made in the same neighborhood as the consumer’s residence2, local spending’s contribution to the YOY growth rate has slowed throughout the past year.

 LCCI BizLoc 070116
Source: The JPMorgan Chase Institute’s Local Consumer Commerce Index
The Local Consumer Commerce Index captures 32 percent of actual retail sales transactions nationwide. It classifies business size based on market share calculated from transaction data. Any business exceeding 8 percent market share in its CBSA and product category is classified as large. Calculated market share is matched to Census Statistics of U.S. Businesses data on total market size to estimate revenues for each business, and estimated revenues are compared to Small Business Administration size standards to determine whether a business is likely to be eligible for assistance from the SBA, and businesses under the threshold are classified as small. The remaining businesses are classified as medium-sized. 
2  Compared to an average of 27% across the 15 metro areas surveyed.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers 

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