Everyone from analysts to economists and policy makers has been looking for more and more precise information on how the COVID pandemic and lockdown have changed the spending habits of the average consumer. Trying to find that data, however, has been challenging since many places are closed and not reporting.
One player that has tried to bridge that information gap is TD Canada Trust. They have huge volumes of spending pattern data in their files so they have begun to analyze how we responded to the pandemic.
Sifting through their transaction records, the bank concluded spending fell off sharply at the beginning of the lockdown and has gradually improved since. In April – the first full month of the lockdown – the decline nationally was roughly 35-percent so we really pulled back. By the end of May it was only 10-percent lower than it was a year earlier.
Here in Saskatchewan, spending cuts were lower than any other province and we even had a surge in spending over the May long weekend, one that was so large it stands out nationally.