Consumer spending increased slightly last month, running behind last year

Consumer discretionary spending by those making less than $90,000 a year remains just below the low end of the 2009-2010 "new normal" monthly spending range of $52 to $64, the poll said. 

"Gallup modeling suggests that lower- and middle-income spending is sensitive to job market conditions," the poll said. "If job trends continue to improve and confidence along with them, consumer spending could be better than expected late this holiday season."

Those with higher incomes spent about $123 per day in October — up from $118 in September, but down from $136 in October 2009. 

While spending among this group making $90,000 or more annually was slightly above the 2009-2010 "new normal" monthly range of $107 to $121 per day, this may be a seasonal pattern, with October spending being above the range in 2009 as well.