INSIGHTS ON CHANGING CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
The daily US consumer spend index shows the percentage change in spending on a daily basis, compared to consumer spending in 2019.
FIRST REPORT: APRIL 22, 2020
Our fifth installment of the FIRST report is different from prior reports, as it reflects data that overlaps with the first tranche of government stimulus checks. The effect of those stimulus checks seems to show up in our data, with several segments seeing meaningful pickups in year-on-year spending rates, and some, like restaurants, seeing a moderation of declines. Travel remains the worst segment, with no signs of recovery.
The Discount category saw a sharp increase in spending during the week ending April 19, with year-on-year spending growing at Discount Stores increasing 62% and spending at Wholesale clubs growing 35%. We suspect that the first tranche of stimulus checks is starting to show up in the data.
Spending in the Home Supply category surged 63% in the week of April 19, up from roughly flat the prior week. This sector also may be experiencing a surge thanks to stimulus payments starting to arrive. It also may be a function of the reality of stay at home orders sinking in, and consumers with means to do so are pushing forward on DIY home projects.
The performance gap between Walmart and Amazon continued to widen in the week of April 19, as Amazon’s year over year growth reached nearly 100%. Walmart’s growth did pick up in the week, up 15% year over year. Again, stimulus checks seem to be showing up in the data.
Spending in the Restaurant sector showed some improvement in the week of April 19, with overall spending declining 49% year over year, better than the 60% decline from the prior week. The pickup is likely all due to better performance in the fast food segment, which declined 14% year over year, vs. 31% in the prior week.
Spending in the broad Video Game segment continued to be extraordinarily strong, growing 111% year over year during the week of April 19. It continues to be the most consistently strong category we track
The Air Travel and Lodging categories continue to reflect the dire nature of this pandemic, with both segments showing year on year declines between 80% to 95%. We would caution that the slight uptick seen in the year on year growth rate in Lodging is more related to a weaker relative comparison period than any pickup in demand.
Spending in the Drug Store/Pharmacy category was down 8% year over year during the week of April 19. This category seems to be closer to return to a pre-crisis level of spending, with the amplitude of the week to week changes starting to moderate.
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FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE