News Details

Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index Falls in August

September 10, 2021

Visa’s latest SMI reading indicates a pause in the recovery

Visa (NYSE: V) today announced that the U.S. Spending Momentum Index (SMI) was 109.6 in August (seasonally adjusted), down 2.9 points from July. With the SMI reading still above 100, this signals that more consumers are still spending more than they did a year ago.

By category, the SMI for discretionary purchases fell 2.0 points from the previous month to 105.8. The SMI for non-discretionary purchases was unchanged at 100.1. The SMI slowed across all regions in the United States, with momentum decelerating the fastest in the South, where it dropped 4.7 points to 108.7. By comparison, the August SMI was 109.3 in the Northeast, 108.3 in the Midwest and 111.2 in the West.

“Although consumer spending momentum downshifted in August, the recovery remains on track,” said Wayne Best, Visa’s Chief Economist. “Based on a strong first half and our forecast for economic growth to reaccelerate after a brief pause during the third quarter, U.S. consumer spending for the full year of 2021 should still expand at its fastest pace in decades.”

About the Visa SMI

The Visa SMI is an economic indicator of the health of consumer spending. The SMI provides insight into what drives upturns and downturns in spending by measuring the breadth of the momentum supporting these trends. The Visa SMI is based on a sample of aggregated, depersonalized VisaNet data. Visa adjusts this data through proprietary methods to exclude factors that do not reflect spending momentum. The resulting sample data is then aggregated using a diffusion index framework where index values are scored from 0 to 200. When the Visa SMI rises above 100, the consumer spending momentum is strengthening and when it falls below 100, the spending momentum is weakening as fewer consumers are spending more relative to the previous year. The index is adjusted for day of week, month, holidays, and broad annual trends, and these seasonal adjustments are subject to revision each year.

The Visa SMI does not take into account the volume of payments; nor does it rely on all Visa-branded credentials, and therefore does not reflect Visa operational or financial performance. It is intended for informational purposes only and is offered on an “as is” basis without any warranties of any kind, express or implied. Each SMI report is as of the publication date.

Eligible Visa clients in the U.S. may access more detailed and customized insights at the national, regional and local spending level, including spending on the main categories of goods and services.

For more information about the Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index, please visit

About Visa

Visa (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, and @VisaNews.

Shauna Ball

Source: Visa Inc.