Checking account amounts are trending up (Image: Shutterstock).

The number of dollars in consumer checking accounts is down, suggesting that consumers are spending more and fueling economic growth, according to new research from financial institutions analytics company Moebs Services.

Using data from FDIC and NCUA call reports, the Lake Forest, Ill.-based company found that the average consumer checking account balance fell 6.5% from its peak in 2017 to about $3,500 at the end of the third quarter of 2018. That marked a second straight quarter of declining balances and it had significant implications for the state of the economy, it said.

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