For the fourth quarter in a row, American Express posted increased earnings, beating Wall Street projections, indicating a rebound in consumer spending buoyed by the lifting of COVID-19 limitations.

After months of stagnant spending, credit card issuers such as AmEx are starting to witness a turnaround, with a resumption of social activities enabled by an increase in the number of people who have received all of their vaccines.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, net income was $1.83 billion, or $2.27 per share, up 70% over the previous year. According to IBES statistics, analysts expected a number of $1.80 per share.

Consumer and small business spending on goods and services (G&S) drove the surge, according to AmEx.

As restrictions were loosened and more people stepped out of their homes, spending on travel and entertainment (T&E) continued to increase in the quarter, with restaurant expenditure exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to the business.

In the quarter, AmEx released $393 million in reserves, indicating a better credit outlook overall.

The New York-based company's total sales increased by 25% to roughly $10.93 billion, excluding interest expense.