FIRST REPORTFacteus Insight Report on Spending and Transactions (FIRST) Gain Insight on Changes in Consumer Spending Transactions
Understand the Economy Through the Lens of Transaction DataThe 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.
The week ending October 18 was relatively uneventful, aside from the big spike in Amazon spend thanks to the rescheduled Prime Day. All three meta categories (Retail, Entertainment and Travel) saw small week-to-week improvements. The biggest gainer was the Discount Store category, and the biggest decliner was Video Games, though at 51% year over year growth, it remains the most robust category.
The aggregate Retail category grew 29% year over year during the week, with both Discount Stores and Department Stores seeing 5 percentage point improvements from the prior week. The Home Supply segment remained strong at 45% year-on-year growth, dipping slightly from the prior week. Not surprisingly, Amazon posted year-over-year growth in spending of 107% due to the rescheduled Prime Day promotion.
The aggregate Entertainment category declined 6% year over year during the week, its best performance since the pandemic began. The Restaurant and Fast Food categories were flat with the prior week, while Video Games fell back to levels seen two weeks prior after a sharp spike last week.
The aggregate Travel category declined 39% year over year in the week, a 3-percentage point improvement from the prior week. The Air Travel segment broke the 50% decline line for the first time since the pandemic began, declining 48% year over year, and resuming the upward trend of the last eight weeks. Lodging spends improved slightly week to week, declining 7% year over year.