Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index: Consumers spend big on consumer electronics, toys and books heading into 2013

  Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index: Consumers spend big on consumer electronics,
  toys and books heading into 2013

  Consumer electronics spending increases 65 percent in fourth quarter 2012

             Non-holiday entertainment and leisure spending drops

Business Wire

WILMINGTON, Del. -- January 24, 2013

A sign of continued economic improvement, consumers did not hesitate to open
their wallets in the last quarter of 2012. New data from the Chase Freedom
Lifestyle Index reveals that consumers significantly increased expenditures on
consumer electronics, toys, and books.

The Index is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends based on aggregated
cardholder spending data from Chase Freedom, one of the nation’s largest mass
affluent credit cards. According to the Index, year-over-year spending
increased 2 percent, while quarter-over-quarter spending saw no change in Q4
2012.

“Our cardholders give us a reason to be optimistic about the economy,” said
Phil Christian, general manager, Chase Freedom. “It is clear that they did not
shy away from holiday spending. Yet, they prioritized their credit card
spending by cutting down on some non-holiday leisure purchases such as
recreational facilities, hotels, and museums.”

Chase Freedom cardholders bring in the holidays with gifts, and more gifts

While carefully monitoring their spending, cardholders were generous
gift-givers this holiday season, according to the Index, which recorded
significant increases in a number of retail spending categories, including
books (33 percent), clothing/apparel (23 percent), and sporting goods (27
percent).

The largest quarter-over-quarter spending increases were recorded in toys and
consumer electronics, two traditionally popular holiday spending categories,
which increased by 81 and 65 percent, respectively. Following consumer
electronics and toys was jewelry spending, which rose 49 percent, compared to
the previous quarter.

“Advancements in new smartphone, tabloid, and other mobile technology clearly
caused consumer electronics spending to sky rocket,” continued Christian. “The
rise of consumer electronics spending in the fourth quarter is a sign that
strong demand for smart phones and tablets is likely to continue in 2013,
providing a boost for our economy.”

Holiday spending countered by decreases in leisure, entertainment spending

While Chase Freedom cardholders took to holiday shopping in the fourth
quarter, they spent less on leisure and discretionary activities, balancing
out retail spending increases and leading to no increase in overall spending
compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Celebrating the spirit of the holiday season, cardholders appear to have opted
for spending more time with family and eating in during the fourth quarter.
Spending at restaurant and fast food venues decreased, by 15 and 9 percent,
respectively.

Cardholders stayed close to home during the holidays, spending less on hotels,
car rentals, and toll purchases, which decreased by 21, 26, and 8 percent,
respectively. Other leisure expenditures that were replaced by holiday
shopping were museum and recreational facility spending, which decreased by 27
and 17 percent, respectively.

The only leisure activity that recorded an increase in the fourth quarter was
the movie theater category, which grew by 13 percent, likely driven by
advancements in digital technology as well as a year of blockbusters.

Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in
purchases at gas stations, drugstores, and Starbucks® stores January through
March 2013. Customers can activate 5 percent cash back online, over the phone,
via text message, on Facebook or at one of Chase's more than 5,500 branches.

For more information, visit Chase Freedom's website or Facebook page.

                                             
                       Q4 2012 vs. Q4 2011   Q4 2012 vs. Q3 2012
Books                     11%                     33%
Car Rentals               1%                      -26%
Clothing/Apparel          -3%                     23%
Consumer Electronics      5%                      65%
Fast Food                 5%                      -9%
Hotels                    8%                      -21%
Jewelry                   -4%                     49%
Movie Theaters            17%                     13%
Museums                   8%                      -27%
Restaurants               -1%                     -15%
Recreation Facilities     7%                      -17%
Sporting Goods            7%                      27%
Tolls                     18%                     -8%
Toys                      -6%                   81%
                                                  

About Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index

The Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends
based on aggregated Chase Freedom cardholder spending data. The Index was
developed to examine the ways that Chase Freedom cardholders are enjoying
everyday rewards and special occasions throughout the year. The Index tracks
actual customer spending in aggregate, as opposed to opinion polls and
surveys, which ask people how they are spending or intend to spend. Index data
represents the actual spending patterns of Chase Freedom cardholders, who
represent a broad sample of American consumers from across regions and
demographic groups.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase &
Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4
trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50
million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,500 bank branches,
17,500 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as
well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about
Chase is available at www.chase.com.

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Contact:

Chase Card Services
Rob Tacey, 302-282-3094
rob.tacey@chase.com
 
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