Consumer Spending Remained Low During May 1 to May 15
As most of the country remained under stay-at-home guidelines, consumer spending remained low in the first half of May. Digital payments continued to surge; inside the CO-OP Credit portfolio, card not present transactions jumped 35 percent year-over-year, while card-present spending was down 33 percent. Looking at spending within CO-OP’s own Credit and Debit portfolio data, CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org) is seeing the following trends inside these essential categories (data comparing May 1-15, 2020 with May 1-15, 2019):
Online Bookstores (Amazon)
Debit: Up 52 percent
Credit: Up 74 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Amazon bookstores purchases continued to see a significant increase across credit and debit in the first half of May. This indicates a strong opportunity for credit unions to begin promoting their card to the top of the Amazon wallet in order to not only capitalize on this spending trend, but also hold on to transactions at this popular merchant for the future.
Debit: Down 8 percent
Credit: Down 11 percent
CO-OP Analysis: In-person transactions at grocery stores continued to decline in May, as more members shifted over to online grocery shopping. Debit transactions continued to rebound, both in size and volume, likely due to the arrival of stimulus relief checks.
Debit: Up 46 percent
Credit: Up 35 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Sales at hardware stores saw a huge jump in the first half of May, which may indicate that they are one of the early benefactors of the slow reopening of the economy.
Freezer & Meat Locker Provisioners
Debit: Up 41 percent
Credit: Up 29 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Despite many grocery stores limiting the sale of meat out of concern for a nationwide shortage, frozen meat purchases saw a significant bump across debit and credit. Particularly with debit, the dollar amount increased significantly, indicating more bulk purchases made by members.
Debit: Down 38 percent
Credit: Down 23 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Department stores continued to suffer the effects of COVID-19 in May. Several prominent department stores, such as JC Penny and Pier 1 Imports, declared bankruptcy, and Macy’s expects that it lost close to $1 billion over the last several weeks. Even as parts of the economy begin to open over the coming weeks, department stores anticipate declining traffic numbers and sales to continue.
Debit: Up 16 percent
Credit: Up 24 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Discount stores, on the other hand, saw their sixth consecutive week of year-over-year growth in credit and debit transactions. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues as other retail stores finally begin to open up.
CO-OP will continue to monitor trends across our Credit and Debit portfolio and provide solutions to ensure credit unions have what they need to serve their members. For more information on how we CO-OP support credit unions throughout COVID-19, please visit co-opfs.org/covid19.