Americans are spending more than ever at casinos

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Americans are spending more than ever at casinos

(NewsNation) — Even as many Americans say they are not feeling the effects of an improving economy, more people than ever are still finding the dollars to dish out at the casino.

The amount of money households spent on gambling in December reached a record high of $160.9 billion, Axios reported, citing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The spending figures were included in a government report Friday showing inflation slowed further last month, rising just 0.2% from November to December, a pace consistent with pre-pandemic levels and barely above the Fed’s 2% annual target. Measured from a year earlier, prices increased 2.6%.

The increased casino spending could be a sign that consumer mood is getting brighter, Axios reported. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey registered its largest jump over the last two months since the end of 1991.

The Friday economic data suggests the economy is achieving an elusive “soft landing,” in which inflation falls back to the Fed’s target without a recession. That outcome could make it easier for the Fed to consider cutting its key interest rate, which it raised 11 times since March 2022 to attack inflation. Higher interest rates have throttled home sales by raising the cost of borrowing. Businesses have also chafed under the higher borrowing costs.

Most Americans are still concerned with the state of the economy, according to a recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll. Roughly 90% of voters said they are “very” (57%) or “somewhat” (32%) concerned about inflation, and 46% of those surveyed think it’s a bigger issue than immigration (29%), crime (17%) and unemployment (8%).

The Associated Press and NewsNation digital producer Andrew Dorn contributed to this report.

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