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Opinion
Paul J. Davies

Wells Fargo and Citi Customers Are Still Spending

Feel-good leisure outlays are hard to square with worries about rising costs of living and the sharp declines in consumer expectations.

Bars and restaurants are where the money is flowing.

Bars and restaurants are where the money is flowing.

Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

If everyone feels so miserable, why do they seem to be out having a good time? This is the puzzle in comparing US second-quarter bank results with terrible readings in recent consumer sentiment surveys.

Citigroup Inc.’s customers are spending freely on restaurants and holidays, which drove credit card volumes up 18% compared with those in the period a year earlier, the bank said in its results Friday. Wells Fargo & Co. similarly called out travel and entertainment in the spending growth on cards in its results. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said much the same the day before.