Chart of the Week: Spending patterns in age of pandemic

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Apr 13, 2020
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Purchase Decisions, Chart of the Week

Questions:

  • The data above is as of April 1st. What do you think the trends have been since that date for the various spending categories?
  • Why do you think that groceries saw a spike and then a sharp drop? 
  • Which of the spending categories do you think will bounce back first?

From NY Times

The coronavirus has profoundly altered daily life in America, ushering in sweeping upheavals to the U.S. economy. Among the most immediate effects of the crisis? Radical changes to how people spend their money.

In a matter of weeks, pillars of American industry essentially ground to a halt. Airplanes, restaurants and arenas were suddenly empty. In many states, businesses deemed nonessential — including luxury goods retailers and golf courses — were ordered closed.

“This is the sharpest decline in consumer spending that we have ever seen,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust.

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About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.