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Spain | Impact of COVID-19 on consumption in real time and high frequency in Feb-22

Published on Friday, March 4, 2022

Spain | Impact of COVID-19 on consumption in real time and high frequency in Feb-22

Card purchases increased by 53% year-on-year in February (45% in January). The increase was greater in the online channel (75%) than in the face-to-face channel (43%), and both spending with Spanish cards and, above all, with foreign cards rebounded.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • The growth accelerated in the first fortnight of the month favored by the absence of the sanitary restrictions in force a year ago. Face-to-face operations with Spanish cards lost traction in the second fortnight, which limited the advance of total spending.
  • Progress towards the normalization of the health situation boosted spending on travel, accommodation, restaurants, transport and fashion, while it moderated it on health. Purchases of technology, books and household equipment also slowed, in line with increased mobility.
  • The dynamism of electronic commerce raised the share of non-face-to-face transactions in the card shopping basket to 34%, an all-time high. The weight of spending with foreign cards also grew (11% in Feb-22), but it is still below the pre-pandemic figures.
  • The increase in mobility stimulated face-to-face consumption in winter tourist destinations, such as La Rioja, Segovia or Huesca, and in the Mediterranean, such as Alicante, Girona, Malaga and the Balearic Islands.
  • Card cash withdrawals grew by 17% year-on-year and equaled those made in Jan-20. The weight of withdrawals was 20%, 6 and 5 points less than in Feb-20 and Feb-21, respectively.

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