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Spain | Impact of COVID-19 on consumption in real time and high frequency in feb-21

Published on Friday, March 5, 2021

Spain | Impact of COVID-19 on consumption in real time and high frequency in feb-21

The decline in card purchases moderated to -7% year-on-year in February due to the recovery in spending with Spanish cards, both online (37%) and face-to-face (-4%). Foreign card transactions continued to decline at double-digit rates (-73%).

Key points

  • Key points:
  • The comparison with February 2019 reflects the change in household purchasing habits: online spending with Spanish cards doubled, operations with foreign cards barely reached 30% and cash withdrawals were 12% below .
  • Transactions grew in 12 provinces in February and fell by 40. The advance exceeded 10% year-on-year in Melilla, Ceuta and Jaén, while Illes Balears, León, Barcelona, ​​Girona, La Rioja, Huesca and Málaga registered falls of more than -20%.
  • Purchases gained traction in most sectors in the second half of February, as a result of the lifting of some regional restrictions (municipal perimeter closures, opening of bars and restaurants and business hours).
  • Food and other services led spending growth in the second half of February, supported by books and press, technology, home, health and department stores sectors.
  • Card cash withdrawals decreased -14% year-on-year in February (-18% in January). The weight of refunds in total operations barely reached 25%, 1 point less than in Feb-20 and 4 less than in Feb-19.

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