See what the average consumer looks like this year

    Ahead of major retailers reporting first-quarter earnings, the state of the consumer this year is starting to take shape, CNBC reports

    The U.S. consumer is still spending, although low-income consumers are starting to feel the squeeze of stubbornly high prices. 

    The nation’s largest credit card companies are describing spending trends this year as “relatively strong,” “relatively stable,” and even “healthy” while payment firms report seeing strong transaction volumes and payment growth.

    Airlines and hotels are expecting a strong travel season ahead. A Morgan Stanley survey showed that 60% of U.S. consumers are planning a summer vacation this year—and just about half of those traveling are expecting to spend more than they did last summer.

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