Danish spending data up to and including 28 May confirms that spending is improving with the opening of the economy. The different timing of holidays between 2019 and 2020 unfortunately leads to a lot of noise in the data at the moment.
Total card and MobilePay spending is approaching normal levels in recent weeks. During the lockdown, we have seen a reduction in cash spending of around 30%, as more Danes are paying by card and MobilePay. As cash is not included in these spending figures, they will tend to underestimate the decline in our spending measure by 3-5%. For the most recent observations, however, turn of the month effects lead to an overestimation of the decline in spending. Hence, total spending – including cash – is estimated to be around 5-7% below normal levels.
The opening of restaurants last week clearly shows up in the data, and though spending remains 20-30% below normal levels, we are still seeing a massive improvement compared to before the reopening. It is good news that spending is up for all age groups, though more among younger consumers than older ones.
The opening up of department stores and malls is clearly visible in spending, with spending in clothing stores even surpassing normal levels.
With the opening up of restaurants and many Danes returning to schools and work places, we are seeing grocery store spending back at more normal levels for the first time since the beginning of the lock down.
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