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 epidemic 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: July 21, 2021

In the latest version of the FIRST Report for the week ending July 18, we continue to see consumer spending ups and downs across the categories we track. Year over year consumer spending in the Retail Segments grew this week by 14 percentage points, while Travel spending decreased by 6 percentage points this week, compared to 2019. Entertainment spending was flat.

Retail categories saw acceleration in growth relative to 2019, a potential consequence of child tax credit payments hitting checking accounts last week. It’s worth noting that Amazon did not see this acceleration.

In the Entertainment segment, Fast Food & Restaurants’ growth stayed steady compared to 2019 while Video Games accelerated spending growth. Movie theaters continue to go up and down with the release of new blockbuster movies, with a decrease this week.

Lodging and Airlines categories both decelerated their growth relative to 2019. We will continue monitoring the Travel segment closely.

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