Shops: the French took out their credit card during the deconfinement


Certain sectors such as clothing or watchmaking and jewelry came out particularly winners from the reopening on Wednesday, May 19.

The French took advantage of the reopening of shops to have fun. After several months of closure of these activities and while savings are accumulating, especially on the livret A, household spending jumped during the deconfinement, according to information from the bank card group, sent to the Figaro.

Unsurprisingly, during the four days following the deconfinement of May 19, spending in stores increased sharply: the amounts paid by card or bank card on mobile phone increased by 20%, on average, compared to the same time. in 2019. The comparison is made in relation to that year, considered more normal than 2020, when the first deconfinement had profoundly changed the consumption habits of the French.

In detail, some sectors have come out particularly winners from the reopening. That day, the amounts paid by credit card or mobile CB jumped 186% in the field of sporting goods – excluding clothing -, 165% in watches and jewelry and 146% in toys, games and recreation. Clothing also had a good day, with an increase of 106% on the day.

Conversely, the increase was much more moderate in the fast food sector, which posted an increase of only 4%. Traditional restaurants suffer from particularly restrictive sanitary conditions: spending is down 20% compared to 2019, on Wednesday.

The reopening Wednesday marked a peak, but the increase in activity compared to 2019 continued in the following days at a very sustained level», Specifies the grouping of bank cards. Information which corroborates those of Procos, the federation of specialized trade, which reported an increase in sales of 46%, over the period from May 19 to 23. Good news for closed activities, which rely on the return of consumption to replenish their funds and pass the delicate stage of the gradual withdrawal of public aid.

A rebound to be recorded in time

The strong rebound in spending in these areas is not surprising: a similar trend was observed by professionals last year, on the occasion of the deconfinement in May. A “catch-up phenomenonWhich benefited certain sectors, including optics. Others, such as watchmaking, explained the recovery in particular by “self-consolation“Of customers: the average basket of customers had then doubled, according to the Union de la bijouterie horlogerie, when the Federation of Watchmaking came under the”revenge spending”, In other words purchases made to compensate for the period of deprivation caused by the epidemic.

Data from the bank card group are closely scrutinized by INSEE, which sees it as a particularly interesting and responsive indicator of household consumption trends. In an economic report published in early May, national statisticians said they expected consumption to be 10% lower in April compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the last pre-Covid period. “The third confinement seems to have constrained consumption behavior a little less […] than that of NovemberWrote the analysts.

The challenge now is to put this return of consumption in time. The State will be at the side of the companies, the time for the situation to return to normal, insists the boss of Bercy at will: “it would be totally inconsistent to immediately disconnect business support in this period of convalescence», Declared Bruno Le Maire, in mid-May. “The expected rebound in household consumption appears all the more likely as their income has been generally preserved during the crisis.“, Analyzed for its part the Bank of France in March.

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