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Spending vs. Sunlight - 11/21/16

Earlier this month, you got to sleep in an additional hour.  That hour felt terrific, though you weren’t awake to realize it.  While many people enjoy daylight savings this time of year, and dislike it intensely during the spring, the presumption may be that there is little economic impact. 

But a report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute indicates that there are economic consequences.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the new report indicates that U.S. consumer habits are impacted by sunlight. 

There is a reduction in spending when much of the nation falls back to shift daylight an hour earlier, as occurred earlier this month.  That reduction in spending is larger than the boost in spending that occurs in the spring. 

To generate this conclusion, the study pulls from three hundred and eighty million credit and debit card transactions among two point five million anonymized Chase customers in Los Angeles and Phoenix.  Arizona doesn’t observe daylight saving time, allowing it to serve as a baseline. 

The study found a nearly one percent increase in daily card spending per capita is Los Angeles relative to Phoenix at the beginning of daylight saving time, but a nearly four percent decrease at the end of the period.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.