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: May 26, 2021

The week ending May 23 shows consumer spending relatively flat compared to last week, with a 7% year-over-year increase compared to 2019. Retail stayed flat overall with Department Stores continuing to see elevated spending patterns relative to 2019, primarily driven by in person sales. In Travel, Airlines and Cruise Lines accelerated their growth trend with week over week improvements.


In the Retail category, Department Stores and Wholesale Clubs were the only segments showing growth, as the overall category remained flat. Growth for both Amazon and Walmart continues to stay within narrow ranges.


In Entertainment, Fast Food Restaurants continue to see stable growth in spending compared to 2019, while Restaurants saw a rebound to a 17% growth rate compared to 2019. Video Games remain strong and Movie Theater spending is still depressed.


The Travel category saw its third consecutive week of week-over-week growth, with an overall decline of 13% compared to 2019. Airline spending keeps accelerating compared to 2019,  Lodging maintains its positive growth, and Cruise Lines experienced another positive bump in spending.


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