Insights on Changing Consumer Spending
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FIRST REPORT: JULY 15, 2020
The latest installment of our FIRST report is a largely uneventful one, with spending trends in the aggregate largely unchanged from the prior week. There were improvements in many categories, though they were mostly small. Spending growth for both Amazon and the Video Game sector remains quite impressive, while travel-related spending remains concerningly weak.
Consumer spending in the overall retail category stabilized in the week ending July 12, growing 23% year-over-year, up slightly from 21% the prior week. In the Discount category, spending grew 36% at Discount Stores (up slightly from 34% the prior week) and 33% at Wholesale Clubs (up from 29% the prior week). In the Home Supply category, spending was largely unchanged, growing 35% year over year, down from 36% the prior week.
Spending growth accelerated at the country’s two biggest retailers. Spending growth at Amazon continues at a quite healthy clip, at 70% year-over-year, while Walmart ticked up slightly at 6% year-over-year. Notably, Amazon widened its growth gap with Walmart.
Spending in the overall entertainment category improved modestly from prior week levels. Spending in the Restaurant category declined 9% year-over-year, up from a 15% decline the prior week. Spending in the Fast Food category grew 5% year-over-year, after growing 4% the prior week. Spending in the Video Game segment rebounded more sharply, growing 64% year over year, up from 51% the prior week. That video games are still growing at such a healthy clip may be one of the most surprising developments in this pandemic period.
The Travel sector continues showing signs of rolling over, which for these industries is concerning given how hard hit they were earlier this year. Spending in the Air Travel segment fell 71% year-over-year, slightly worse than the 69% fall the prior week. Spending on Lodging fell 20% year over year, only slightly worse than the 19% decline it saw the prior week. Consumer interest in travel in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases over the last several weeks seems to have waned.
FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE