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Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index: Consumers Demonstrate Cautiously Optimistic Spending Patterns in First Quarter

  Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index: Consumers Demonstrate Cautiously Optimistic
  Spending Patterns in First Quarter

   Physical fitness spending increases 7 percent; Personal and professional
           development lessons and classes up 11 percent from 2012

 Moving into spring, home improvement, travel and apparel spending is on the
                                     rise

Business Wire

WILMINGTON, Del. -- April 24, 2013

On the heels of a robust holiday shopping season, consumers showed caution in
their spending during the first quarter of 2013, according to new data from
the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index. Overall spending remained flat compared to
the first quarter of 2012 and down nine percent from the previous quarter.

The Chase Freedom Lifestyle 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.

“We see a continued rise in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ consumer,” said Phil
Christian, general manager, Chase Freedom. “As consumers keep an eye on the
economy and its performance, we’re observing ‘wait-and-see’ behavior in their
spending patterns. Consumers are taking a breather on retail purchases after
the busy holiday shopping season and instead are investing in personal
improvement areas – education, exercise and home upgrades.”

A Healthy Start to 2013

While the end of the holiday shopping season marked a decline in retail
purchases, consumers were intent on putting their New Year’s resolutions to
action. Consumers spent seven percent more on physical fitness, including at
golf courses and ski resorts, as well as 14 percent more on sporting goods in
the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same quarter in 2012. Personal and
professional improvement was also at the top of the agenda, with an 11 percent
spending increase in lesson and class spending, compared to the first quarter
of 2012.

“The start of the year is a great time to renew focus on personal and
professional goals,” said Christian. “Whether it’s getting some exercise, or
learning a hobby, sport or language, we saw consumers prioritize their
spending to achieve the goals they set out for themselves in 2013.”

Goodbye, winter; Hello, spring

As winter drew to a close, the month of March saw consumers shifting their
focus to spring and summer, as seen by significant increases in spend on home
improvement (25 percent) and clothing/apparel (28 percent) spending, compared
to the previous month.

Moreover, consumers significantly increased travel spending in March, with
hotels (23 percent), rental cars (24 percent), and airlines (12 percent) all
rising, compared to the previous month.

“Our data indicates that consumers are already starting to plan their summer
vacations and invest in home improvement projects, both of which usually pick
up in the second quarter, which may be an indicator of their confidence in the
long-term economy,” concluded Christian.

Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in
purchases at movie theaters, restaurants, and Lowe’s^® home improvement stores
April through June 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.

                                             
                       Q1 2013 vs. Q1 2012   Q1 2013 vs. Q4 2012
Airlines                  -4%                     +11%
Gas                       -3%                     +8%
Lessons and classes       +11%                    +6%
Recreation Facilities     +7%                     +17%
Sporting Goods            +14%                    -21%
                                                  

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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