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: August, 18, 2021

For the week ending August 15, consumer spending growth was relatively flat week to week compared to 2019. In the Retail Segment, all categories were relatively flat, with Discount Stores experiencing the biggest year over year growth rate of 3%. In Entertainment, Fast Food and Movie Theaters experienced small increases in spending, and in the Travel Segment, Cruise Lines was the only category with positive year over year growth.


Discount Stores and Home Supply Warehouses saw slight accelerations in growth relative to 2019, while the other Retail categories stayed flat or slightly decelerated.


In the Entertainment segment, Restaurant growth decelerated off its high last week as Fast-Food Restaurants and Video Games accelerated. Movie Theaters continued to see modest acceleration in growth with a 6% growth in spending week over week.


Airlines continue to decline with United and Alaska now following the general category. Lodging growth decelerated but is still in the double digits compared to 2019.


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