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FIRST REPORT: April 8th, 2020

 

INSIGHTS ON CHANGING CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Facteus Insight Report on Consumer Spending and Transactions (FIRST)

PERFORMANCE THROUGH THE LENS OF TRANSACTION DATA

The Facteus Insight Report on Consumer Spending and Transactions (FIRST) information is a series of weekly reports that will shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the consumer economy in the US. We plan to look at four super categories of the consumer economy: Retail, Entertainment, Travel, and Healthcare. Focusing on both sectors and individual merchants, we will provide insight into how consumers are being impacted and how they are reacting in this unprecedented time. Our intent is to help businesses, governments, and economists have a current, accurate view of the COVID-19 data so that they can make informed and timely decisions.

FIRST REPORT: CONSUMER SPENDING OVERVIEW

The daily US consumer spend index shows the percentage change in spending on a daily basis, compared to consumer spending in 2019.

FIRST REPORT: April 8th, 2020

In week 3 of our FIRST reports, we have seen a mixture of moderating declines and in some cases a return to pre-crisis growth rates. In addition, one category, Video Games, is soaring as people look for entertainment options in a stay-at-home economy. While there are some inflection points or signs of the declines bottoming, there is no getting around how terrible the spending numbers are in the travel and restaurant space.

RETAIL

Spending at Wholesale and Discount stores bounced off the bottom during the week of April 5, with all three categories being captured back into positive growth territory. Discount stores seem to be outperforming their peer group, growing nearly 20% year-over-year during the week.
Spending at Consumer Home Supply Stores seems to be settling in at pre-crisis levels, growing 4% year-over-year the week of April 5.
We are adding tracking of the two retail giants in the US, Walmart and Amazon. Both companies saw upticks during the week of April 5. While Walmart appears to be back at pre-crisis levels, Amazon continues to see a meaningful pickup in their business, with consumers increasing their spending 35% from the prior year.

ENTERTAINMENT

Very little movement in the restaurant sector, with Fast Food restaurants and the overall category mostly unchanged from the prior week. Fast food continues to outperform given their drive-through and take-out infrastructure.
Spending on Video Games accelerated further during the week of April 5, growing nearly 100% from the prior-year period, making it one of the best performing categories in this environment.
We are also adding spending on Music Streaming services to our report this week, looking at two merchants, Spotify and SoundCloud. Spotify seems to have been reasonably steady through this crisis, showing growth between 10% and 20% for most of the time frame. What is more interesting is SoundCloud, who has seen a real spike in the last 4 weeks, likely a result of an increase in artists who are actually publishing content to the site.

TRAVEL

Air travel is one of the worst performing categories we follow, with year-over-year growth declines reaching close to 90% during the week of April 5. While the pace of decline appears to be slowing a bit, at these levels, there is little solace to be found in that development.
The declines in spending on Lodging by US consumers appears to have bottomed in the week ending April 5, down year-over-year roughly 80%, but up just slightly from the prior week. Like their peers in the air travel industry, there is little to cheer about given these levels.

HEALTHCARE

Consumer spending at Drug Stores and Pharmacies appears to have returned to pre-crisis levels, with sales down only 2% year-over-year for the week ending April 5.

INVESTMENT INTELLIGENCE FROM TRANSACTION DATA

The Facteus suite of products is designed to meet the needs of all participants in the asset management ecosystem, from large systematic funds to small long-only asset managers, venture capital funds, and private equity firms. Our newest product, Enlightmint, gives you access to the same transaction insights behind our Consumer Economic Impact reports, delivered via a SaaS platform with a powerful, intuitive, Tableau-based user interface.

Enlightmint delivers granular insights on changes and trends in transaction amounts and transaction frequency across hundreds of companies and stock tickers. The transaction data has also gone through a rigorous process to ensure individual consumer privacy is maintained. Through a patent-pending data synthesizing process, we go well beyond trying to anonymize or “clean” a transaction and instead create a synthetic copy of that transaction.

The resulting synthetic data maintains the statistical value of the original transaction while removing all personally identifiable information to keep consumer information private. To learn more visit https://enlightmint.facteus.com.

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