Insights on Changing Consumer Spending
The daily US Consumer Spend Index shows the percentage change in spending on a daily basis, compared to consumer spending in 2019.
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FIRST REPORT: AUGUST 19, 2020
For the first time since we began publishing the FIRST report, aggregate spending showed year-over-year growth. While the growth is quite modest at 1%, it’s an impressive rebound from the levels seen in early April, when our report was showing as much as a 40% decline in consumer spending. Standout categories this week include Discount Stores, Home Supply Stores, Restaurants, Video Games, and Lodging.
Consumers continue to open their wallets in the retail sector, with spending growth hitting 37% year-over-year in the segment during the week ending August 16. In the Discount segment, spending at Discount Stores jumped 56% year-over-year, hitting its highest growth level since early May. Interestingly, spending at Wholesale Clubs fell from the prior week level, falling from 47% to 36% year-over-year growth. Consumers also continue to spend aggressively on their homes during the pandemic, with spending at Home Supply stores growing 50% year-over-year.
Both retail giants in the US saw upticks in their spending growth with Amazon reaching 80% year-over-year growth, and Walmart reaching 12%. However, the main takeaway continues to be Amazon’s dominance during the pandemic, and what looks like a sustainable shift in consumers towards an increased reliance on e-commerce.
Consumer spending levels in the broader Entertainment category improved 8 percentage points from the prior week, posting a 10% decline from year-over-year in the week ending August 16th. This week was notable for the Restaurant segment, as the aggregate segment saw its first year-over-year growth since the pandemic began, growing 7% year-over-year, a 12 percentage point improvement from the prior week. The Video Game segment surged to 80% year-over-year spend growth, the highest level of growth since mid-June.
Spending in the Travel segment improved five percentage points from the prior week, posting a 40% decline year-over-year. There was a small improvement in the Air Travel segment, which posted a year-over-year decline of 63%, but at these levels the industry remains extraordinarily impaired. The news is much better in the Lodging segment, which saw a 1% decline year-over-year, its best week of spend since the pandemic began.
FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE