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: SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
Spending rebounded during the week of September 6, showing only a 1% decline year over year, improving from the 9% drop the prior week. The biggest movers in a positive direction were the Wholesale Club, Lodging, and Tourist Attraction segments. The biggest decelerator was Video Games, which fell 33 percentage points from the prior week. All in all, consumers seemed more willing to open their wallets this week, after slowing their spend the prior two weeks.
Spending rates improved during the week of Sept 6, with the aggregate category growing 29% year on year, up from 21% the prior week. The biggest gainer week to week was the Wholesale Club segment, which grew 45% year over year, a big jump from the 24% growth it saw the prior week. The Home Supply segment, which has seen abnormally strong growth for most of the pandemic, also improved from the prior week, growing 45% year over year.
This was one of the first weeks in a while where the growth rates for Amazon and Walmart to move in the opposite directions, with Amazon’s growth decelerating a bit and Walmart’s picking up from the prior week. However, the growing gap between the two retail giants remains large, with Amazon continuing to see spending growth near 60% and Walmart seeing growth barely above 5%.
Spending in the Entertainment segment also saw improvement from the prior week, with year over year declines of 9% vs 18% the week before. Spending in the Restaurant segment saw a modest pickup from 2% to 7% growth. Video games, which has been one of the strongest categories during the pandemic, saw a rather sharp decline, from 74% growth the prior week to 41% growth this week. The biggest gainer in this segment was the Tourist Attractions category, which grew 22% during the week vs a 27% year-over-year decline the prior week.
The broader travel segment improved 8 percentage points from the prior week, declining 36% year over year the week of September 6. The Air Travel category continues to improve slowly, showing a 57% decline in spending year over year, well off its trough, but still quite weak. The Lodging category moved into positive territory, growing 4% year over year, the first positive growth in the category since the pandemic began.
FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE