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 5, 2020
The holding pattern on spending we have seen the last several weeks is still intact in this 18th installment of the FIRST report. Consumers with the time (at home) and resources continue to pour money into the Home Supply segment. Amazon continues to show its dominance in the retail world during the pandemic. Restaurant spending has inched closer to pre-pandemic growth levels, and lodging saw its first week-to-week improvement in 8 weeks. However, in the aggregate, consumer spending is still down 13% year over year, essentially where it has been for the last 10 weeks. With extended unemployment benefits exhausted as of August 1, we will be looking for changes in consumer spending habits over the course of the next week and beyond.
Consumer spend in the retail space was similar in magnitude to the previous week, growing 21% year over year in the week ending August 2. Spending in the Discount/Wholesale category saw a leg down, with spending growth at Discount Stores falling to 35% year over year, and spending growth at Wholesale Clubs falling to 28% year over year. While these subcategories both fell, the growth levels remain quite robust. Spending in the Home Supply category jumped to 41% year-over-year growth, as consumers continue to push money into the category as time spent at home remains high during the pandemic.
The gap between Amazon and Walmart remains wide, with Amazon posting 70% year-on-year growth as compared to Walmart’s 2% growth. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Amazon’s ability to execute and sustain such high levels of growth given its size may be the single most impressive story of the period.
A week-to-week pickup in Restaurant spending growth occurred in both Fast Food and the overall category. Notably, the 2% decline year over year in the overall category brings it back to levels seen prior to the pandemic. Spending in the Video Game space may finally be starting to return towards normal, as its rate of growth fell to 32% year over year.
Spending on Air Travel continues to be weak, falling 69% year over year. Spending on Lodging saw its first real week-to-week uptick in 8 weeks, posting a year-over-year decline of 14% in the week ending August 2, better than the 21% decline it saw the prior week.
FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE