FIRST ReportFacteus Insight Report on Spending and Transactions (FIRST) Gain Insight on Changes in Consumer Spending Transactions
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.
For the week ending August 22, overall consumer spending maintains double-digit year over year growth compared to 2019 at 11%, however spending has definitely shifted from certain categories to others. Retail spending has been pretty steady at 20+% year over year growth for the past few weeks, while Entertainment has seen accelerated spending the past few weeks to 21%, a new high for 2021. The growth in Entertainment spending appears to be at the expense of Travel, as this category continued to see decelerated spending with a decline of 11% compared to 2019.
Department Stores are the bright spot for Retail this week, potentially as families prepare for back to school. Amazon and Walmart maintained spending levels while Discount Stores and Wholesale Clubs saw a deceleration of growth.
In the Entertainment segment, Restaurant and Fast-Food Restaurants continue to maintain high levels of spending growth compared to 2019, and Video Games accelerated for the 2nd week in a row.
Airlines decline as Lodging growth stabilizes compared to 2019, overall cementing a general trend of consumers looking to get out of the home but staying more local with car travel instead of flying.