We’re starting to get a feel for how consumers changed their spending habits when the COVID pandemic saw many retail stores closed or move to on-line and curbside service.
A study of how we changed the way we did things turned up some ‘not so surprising’ results. For example, we cut down on our travel. Consequently, the amount of money we devoted to firms such as tour operators was roughly 90-percent less than it would have been only a few months earlier. Buying cars and fuel also dropped off sharply.
But the biggest decline came in clothing. In fact, the drop in this category was so noticeable, it actually contributed to lowering inflation in April, the first full month of the pandemic lockdown.
StatsCan says shoppers adopted a ‘buy less than usual’ quantities of our basic standards but perishables and things like baby food as well as rent and mortgage payments accounted for a larger-than-usual share of our budgets as we kept buying those while cutting back on others.