While the election and the economy have been the major focus of discussion this week, a seemingly small change this weekend could lead to a significant drop in consumer spending.
A recent study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute showed that when daylight saving time (DST) ends, there's a 3.5 percent drop in credit card spending in the following 30 days.
In particular, consumer spending on goods drops more than services, and weekday spending drops more than weekends. JPMorgan has access to millions of credit card transactions on its network, and the anonymized data allows the company to see exactly how consumer behavior changes immediately as a result of the one-hour shift.
When DST begins in the spring, there is a 0.9 percent increase in daily credit card spending per capita in Los Angeles. But the 3.5 percent drop in spending that happens when DST ends means the total economic effect of DST is a net loss. Remember, this weekend's end of DST means we "fall back," turning our clocks back an hour. We all sleep an extra hour, making the mornings brighter and the evenings darker.
According to JPMorgan's data, grocery stores (down 6 percent per day per capita) suffered the most among consumer goods categories. Contrast that with health care, which saw almost no drop. That makes sense, because those types of decisions aren't going to change because of the time difference.