Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

St Andrews study reveals consumer spending down by a third as lockdown hits household income

Post Thumbnail

Consumer spending has plunged by a third during the coronavirus pandemic, a St Andrews led study has revealed.

Spending decreased dramatically as government imposed lockdown measures were looming in March and continued to fall after they were implemented.

The study by researchers at St Andrews and Heriot Watt universities found overall consumer spending declined by 32%.

Dr Dimitris Chronopoulos, from the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at St Andrews, said: “It is becoming clear that the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the government lockdown are having significant and varied impacts on the level and composition of consumer spending patterns across Great Britain.”

Data from a survey conducted on March 25 showed an estimated 57% of workers were engaged in less paid work, 8% had lost employment and those still in work had a 33% chance of being jobless within the next four months.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they would probably struggle to pay household bills in the future.

Researchers found evidence that people in Scotland started stockpiling earlier than in England and Wales as the pandemic took hold.

Graph shows spending on groceries as Covid-19 pandemic takes hold.

Overall, spending on groceries increased by 13% to 18% during each of the two weeks after the World Health Organanization announced the Covid-19 outbreak had developed into a pandemic.

However, people started to spend less on groceries after lockdown was introduced.

Other findings include an increase in spending on dining and drinking during February and the start of March before a decline of more than 40%.

Men also spent significantly more than women, and young people more than older people. Those on higher incomes bought more goods.

Study co-author Professor John Wilson, from the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance, added: “Our results are preliminary, but do provide a starting point for policymakers in understanding the real-time and varied impacts of Covid-19 on consumer spending.”

Data from 100,000 anonymous individuals and a total of nearly 20 million transactions, covering the period from January 1 to April 7 this year, was provided by Edinburgh-based firm Money Dashboard.

Dr Marcel Lukas of Heriot Watt University said: “Investigating the impact of Covid-19 on consumer spending is very challenging given that official statistics produced by government often come with a significant time delay.

“Fortunately, recent advances in information technology and financial applications have enabled the real time collection of transaction level data which has allowed us to conduct a fine-grained analysis of patterns in consumer spending as they occur.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in