Economics in a picture
Consumption in most sectors has already recovered to pre-crisis levels
Private consumption registered a sharp increase in the second quarter of 2021 (8.1% quarter-on-quarter), after declining at the beginning of the year with the mandatory lockdown. The easing of restrictions and the improvement in confidence associated with vaccination progress supported a stronger-than-anticipated recovery in household spending, amid rising disposable income and favourable financial conditions.
Data on purchases with domestic bank cards at the end of the first half-year show that spending with this means of payment was already above the corresponding 2019 level in most sectors. Card spending was lower than in the pre-pandemic period only in leisure, culture and sports, transport and restaurants, as well as clothing and footwear. In contrast, payments in sectors such as construction/DIY and sports/recreational equipment were significantly above pre-pandemic levels, reflecting consumers' adaptation to a more at-home lifestyle.
For more details on the data presented, see the Special Issue "The impact of the pandemic on private consumption - evidence from card spending data", published in the December 2020 Economic Bulletin of Banco de Portugal.
Prepared by Cátia Silva, Cristina Manteu, Sara Serra and Sónia Cabral. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed in this space are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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