‘Don’t fight the U.S. consumer’ — Bank of America CEO says spending is healthy despite inflation

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Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday that Americans are spending heartily, even as inflation continues to roil the economy.

“In the month of March ’22 versus March ’21, the consumer … spent about 13% more than they did last year,” Moynihan said Tuesday in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“But importantly, in the first couple weeks in April, that number’s moved back to 18%, indicating faster spending in consumers,” he added.

Consumer prices increased 8.5% year-over-year in March, revealing price jumps for everyday items not seen since the 1970s and early ’80s. The producer price index showed an 11.2% increase in March from the year prior.

Moynihan said that consumers have bulked up their bank accounts since pre-pandemic times, driving their increased spending. He added that while some investors might take on an approach of ‘don’t fight the Fed,’ he has a different take.

“Don’t fight the U.S. consumer. They are a very strong force and you can see them very healthy. Their loan balances are down, they have plenty of borrowing capacity and they have plenty of spending capacity,” he said.

Bank of America beat Wall Street expectations on profits and earnings in first-quarter financial results posted Monday. Shares climbed 3.4% the same day.

Shares of Bank of America climbed 1.85% on Tuesday.

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