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

Published on Friday, April 9, 2021

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

Spending with BBVA credit and debit cards or BBVA POS terminals grew 56% y-o-y in March due to the base effect caused by the start of the lockdown period a year ago. Compared to March 2019, the growth in card consumption was lower (18%).

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Online purchases with Spanish cards in March multiplied by 2.3 the figure of two years ago and face-to-face purchases were 16% higher.
  • Card spending exceeded that of March 2019 in 49 provinces, driven by consumption with Spanish cards, and in all activities, with the exception of those carried out in groups, such as hospitality, beauty and fashion, and those that involve commuting, such as transportation and travel.
  • Holy Week and the regional perimeter closure caused part of the spending and cash withdrawals to be brought forward to the days prior to Thursday, April 1. Food, other services, home equipment and health sectors were the main beneficiaries of lower mobility.
  • Despite the limitations to interregional mobility, face-to-face purchases during Holy Week were 8% higher than in 2019. At the provincial level, Ceuta, Melilla, Jaén, Seville, Lleida, Tarragona and Madrid stood out positively.
  • Transactions increased 8% y-o-y in the first quarter and were 10% above the level of 1Q19. The only provinces in which purchases lagged behind were Bizkaia, Segovia, La Rioja and those with a greater weight of tourism, such as the isles and Barcelona.

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