FIRST Report

Facteus Insight Report on Spending and Transactions (FIRST) Gain Insight on Changes in Consumer Spending Transactions
Understand the Economy Through the Lens of Transaction Data

The FIRST Report is a series of weekly reports that will shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumer economy in the US. We plan to look at three super categories of the consumer economy: Retail, Entertainment and Travel. 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 economy during the COVID-19 pandemic so that they can make informed and timely decisions.

FIRST Report: March 31, 2021

The week ending March 28 shows continued consumer spending spurred by stimulus checks with gains across the board compared to last year. Compared to 2019, spending remains at elevated levels with some declines week to week in the Retail and Travel categories. With the low levels of spend during this period in 2020, we have switched the focus of growth comparisons to 2021 vs 2019 for the table and charts in the report.


Consumer spending at retail stores, e-commerce and home supply warehouses continue to show elevated growth compared to 2019 despite retreating slightly from the highs last week.


Entertainment spending, and Restaurants in particular, are maintaining high levels of spending compared to 2019. Video Games are maintaining spend growth levels similar to those seen in early January.


Airline and Lodging spending retreated below the growth line this week, potentially showing the limits of spring break travel plans.


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