Bank of America chief says consumers spending ‘at a faster rate’ than he’s ever seen

Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan says consumers are spending “at a faster rate” than he’s ever seen before, raising concerns about how inflation and supply-chain issues will influence the economy going into the winter season. 

In an interview with The Associated Press published Sunday, Moynihan said spending on bank credit and debit cards has surged as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic recession. 

He said the recent decline in consumer sentiment may indicate higher costs are fueling Americans’ frustration. 

“[The consumer] is earning more money, but now they are worried that these costs are going to go up faster than their wages,” Moynihan said. “Also, frankly, the constant ebb and flow of this virus weighs on people’s minds over time.”

“The U.S. consumer is spending money a lot of money, spending at a faster rate than I have ever seen, and I’ve been tracking this data for 15 years,” he added. 

The government said Friday prices for U.S. consumers jumped to 6.8 percent last month compared to 2020 as the country endures its highest annual inflation rate in 39 years, with costs for food, energy, housing and other items surging. 

Moynihan said the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and government support through stimulus has allowed many businesses to flourish and consumers to keep their balance sheets healthy, the AP noted. 

“We flooded the zone with all this fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary policy and we were able to bring this huge economy back out of recession relatively quickly,” Moynihan said.