Canadians spent 3% more this July than last, marking a significant milestone

  • A nascent recovery in Canadian consumer spending solidified through the end of July, as more sectors of the economy reopened and government benefits continued to support consumer spending.
  • The gain in spending in July was the first monthly year-over-year gain since the pandemic began.



Lockdown –weary Canadians turned to pleasure and pampering

  • While spending in many categories was flat in July, spending on self-care and dining improved.
  • Sales at restaurants, bars and other foodservices providers were just 9% below year ago levels at the end of July, as compared to -17% a month earlier. Canadians still opted to have the dining experience come to them: delivery and quick service restaurants have dominated recovery.
  • Spending on haircuts and massages wasn’t far from last year’s level, reflecting increased availability of personal services.


Retail and entertainment held steady

  • After several weeks of rapid gains, spending on clothing was just below year-ago levels at the end of July.
  • Spending at department stores and household goods retailers was flat, as high home improvement spending started to cool.
  • With outdoor concerts, festivals and the like off limits, in-person entertainment spending was very low. But other categories held up.



Forced staycations weighed on travel spending

  • Overall travel spending remained down 64% from a year earlier—still better than late March when it was 90% lower than a year prior.
  • Consumers continued to spend more on accommodations and car rentals as well as gas and parking for their own vehicles.
  • It isn’t yet clear whether the partial recovery in travel came mostly from local, mid-summer getaways.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Online spending volumes are estimated based on the presence of an RBC card at the time of the authorization. Pre-COVID averages are calculated as the average of the first 11 weeks of 2020, and post-COVID averages are averages of subsequent weeks.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

July 27, 2020

Consumers seem to have hit their stride into July, with card volumes holding relatively steady since the end of June. Spending is hovering near year-ago levels, as many parts of the country continue to slowly re-open.

In most categories, spending stuck close to the levels cited in our last report, strengthening a rebound several weeks in the making.



Online spending holds strong, as Canadians avoid the mall

  • Online purchasing remained robust, with some categories seeing a lasting shift toward more frequent virtual purchases.
  • Canadians continued to embrace remote buying, particularly in categories where delivery and curbside pick-up have been broadly accepted.
  • Even as stores reopened to customers, online and remote spending remained stronger for clothing retailers, restaurants, and grocery stores as consumers avoided crowds.
  • In-person entertainment and health spending bounced back to pre-pandemic levels quickly, especially as things with few online alternatives reopened (e.g., golf courses, hair salons).



Clothing shoppers returned with force…

  • Spending on apparel, gifts and jewelry tracked close to year-ago levels, and was down just 1% by mid-July.
  • Spending was healthy in other retail categories too, with volumes at household and department and specialty stores remaining well above levels seen last year.


…but limits on crowds still stung

  • Nevertheless, closures continued to drag on areas of the economy that rely on gatherings.
  • Entertainment spending remained about 20% below last year’s levels as Canadians eschewed galleries and museums, and large events remained a no-go.


Canadians embrace the open road amid international travel restrictions

  • A slight recovery in travel spending continued, led mainly by car rentals and accommodation spending, as discounts encouraged Canadians to vacation close to home.
  • Other forms of travel spending continued to drag down overall levels though, which were still about two thirds below last year.


Haircuts, massages, and (some) gym visits level off

  • Health-related spending plateaued after a strong recovery in early June, as closures continued to sap fitness club spending and Canadians adjusted to less frequent haircuts and in-person self-care.
  • Similarly, dining spending remained below last year’s levels by 10%, despite still elevated spending on delivery and near-normal purchases at quick service restaurants.
  • Other restaurants are lagging behind, as in-person dining struggles to return to normal in the age of social distancing.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Online spending volumes are estimated based on the presence of an RBC card at the time of the authorization. Pre-COVID averages are calculated as the average of the first 11 weeks of 2020, and post-COVID averages are averages of subsequent weeks.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

July 13, 2020

This is the seventh report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

Spending continued to climb through late June, solidifying a recovery in card volumes. For the first time since lockdown, spending even turned positive compared to year-ago levels during the last week of June. Growth was broad-based and was accompanied by a long-awaited uptick in small business spending.

As consumers opened up their wallets, overall spending levels—stuck near year-ago levels in mid-June—grew 4% year-over-year by the end of the month.



Knocked out by COVID, small business spending finally perks up

  • A mid-June survey by the CFIB suggested about half of small businesses were fully open, compared with about 25% though out May.
  • Credit card spending by small businesses recovered accordingly last month.
  • Volumes were still down about a quarter in May. By June, they’d recovered to -10%.


Boom in online spending persists

  • Canadians who rushed to get back into stores when they reopened at the end of May haven’t forsaken the online marketplace altogether.
  • Indicators suggested a notable uptick in online spending persisted through the end of the month.
  • Online or remote charges (e.g., telephone and preauthorized payments) averaged about 45% of card spending after the pandemic struck, up from an average of 35% in 2019.
  • Discretionary spending—on dining, shopping, household goods and more—saw the largest boost, while activity that was already mostly online or pre-authorized (e.g., utilities) or was heavily impacted by the virus was little changed.



Canadians dodge transit for the open road as economies reopen

  • Canadians appear to be driving more to avoid transit: Apple data suggest driving direction requests are up 40% relative to January, while transit directions remain down by almost half.
  • Card spending on vehicle and gas expenses has picked up – turning positive for the first time in late June after weeks of gradual recovery.
  • Spending rose 3% from year-ago levels, mostly reflecting higher gasoline prices.


Shoppers indulge in clothing, gifts and jewelry…

  • After a brief pause through mid-June, spending at Apparel, Gifts & Jewelry stores ticked up.
  • Volumes were down about 7% by the end of the month, as compared to a fifth lower earlier in June.


…and some mid-pandemic pampering

  • Canadians continued to spend more on personal health and wellness, particularly on haircuts and massages. Fitness spending remains down amid continued gym closures.
  • They still ordered lots of food delivery, though spending slowed as bricks-and-mortar restaurants reopened across the country.
  • Entertainment spending held firmly at lower levels, about one fifth lower than year-ago levels, amid continued closure of movie theaters, art galleries, and other in-person entertainment.



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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Pre-COVID averages are calculated as the average of the first 11 weeks of 2020, and post-COVID averages are averages of subsequent weeks.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

June 29, 2020

This is the sixth report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

The recovery in personal spending that we noted earlier in the month extended through mid-June. Overall card volumes hovered near year-earlier levels. But with some pandemic-fighting restrictions still in effect, spending on traditional early-summer pastimes wasn’t possible. And there were signs that the transition to online spending is getting entrenched.



Mid-pandemic retail therapy

  • Canadians jumped at the opportunity to try on clothes in-store when retailers began to reopen at the end of May. By mid-June, spending had stabilized, but was still down about 25% from a year earlier.
  • Spending at other stores stayed strong as Canadians kitted out their homes for summer.


Counting strokes, not cards

  • Golfing and gaming continued to dominate entertainment spending.
  • The continued closure of galleries, casinos, and events for 10-plus people weighed on other entertainment categories.


Traffic worsens, but trains are still empty

  • Card spending on gas and automotive services had nearly recovered to year-ago levels in mid-June, as Canadians ventured out after the lengthy lockdown.
  • Transit and parking expenditures were still two-thirds lower than last year, though limited parking enforcement in many cities and free transit in others may have reduced spending.
  • Hotels, airlines, and car rentals continued to suffer, with spending down about 75% from a year earlier.


More massage and haircuts

  • Spending on health and personal care had begun to recover from crisis lows, but fitness-club closures limited overall health spending.
  • Restaurant spending continued to climb, albeit at a slower rate.


Online spending still high despite reopening

  • A new proxy for online consumer spending suggests online spending remained robust despite bricks-and-mortar reopenings in late May.
  • Spending at major online marketplaces and with services that process online payments for other merchants rose 80% relative to last May, before easing slightly into June.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

June 15, 2020

This is the fifth report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

The recovery in personal spending that we noted in mid-May has continued. In a very positive sign, it was hovering at year-earlier levels in early June. Spending had improved in most categories compared with late-March lows.



While more Canadian consumers appeared willing to spend, shell-shocked small-business owners continued to exhibit caution. RBC Economics has noted in separate research that small firms have borne the economic brunt of the pandemic, with job losses at almost double the rate of medium and large firms.



Dresses in addition to DIY

  • Clothing sales showed signs of recovery in early June, though spending remained 25% below year-earlier levels. The likely catalyst was the reopening of physical stores in parts of Canada, which allowed people to try things on before buying.
  • Household spending at construction stores remained strong, as Canadians staying close to home kept checking renovation projects off their to-do lists.


Tentatively venturing out

  • Restaurant and dining spending climbed as restaurants opened at lower capacity in parts of Canada. Spending was down a third from last year, but far off lockdown lows (-68%).
  • Vehicle-related spending continued to climb amid easing restrictions, and was down just 13% in early June. Parking, transit, and travel spending started to pick up from very low levels.
  • Entertainment spending stabilized after growing notably through May as golf courses reopened.




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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

June 1, 2020

This is the fourth report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

As lockdown shock wears off, Canadians are opening their wallets wider and varying their buying. While spending remains down 13% from this time last year, that’s a marked improvement from late March, when it was down 37% from a year earlier.

  • As Canadian provinces take steps to reopen their economies, consumers have begun spending more on the discretionary items they shunned during the early phase of the pandemic.
  • Entertainment and art spending has benefited most from easing restrictions.
  • Spending on dining out continues to recover from lows, as restaurants adapt to take-out and other delivery models.
  • Formerly slow spending at merchants selling apparel, gifts & jewelry picked up steam in early May; Canadians spent more at clothing stores in particular.



Home and driveway remain in focus

  • Spending at merchants selling household goods remains strong, reflecting spending at DIY construction stores, and on appliances and furniture.
  • Canadians began to drive more through early May, and card spending on auto expenses continued to pick up.



Hitting the links, not the 19th hole

  • In mid-May, spending at entertainment and art merchants was down 37% from a year earlier, compared with a 58% drop in late April.
  • Golfers dusted off their putters as golf courses opened up around the country. Those who prefer playing inside continued to spend on online and console gaming.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the same period one year ago. To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

May 19, 2020

This is the third report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

To understand underlying trends, we examined spending differences between small businesses and personal credit cardholders.

  • Monthly spending in April was down nearly 30%, worse than the monthly read for March, reflecting that COVID-19 impacted activity over all of April versus only part of March.
  • At the end of April, consumer spending had rebounded somewhat from levels early in the crisis, but remained well below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Automotive spending paid for by card (e.g., maintenance, gas) seemed to have turned the corner, household construction was still strong, and spending on household goods was higher than before the crisis.
  • Discretionary spending had stabilized, albeit at low levels. Spending on restaurants and entertainment was down 50% from before the crisis.



Businesses try to keep the lights on

  • Small business spending on essentials held up better than that of households, as firms cut discretionary spending.
  • Small business spending on software held to pre-COVID trends, while households spent significantly more kitting out home offices.
  • Businesses slashed dining and entertainment expenses, but kept their vehicles running more, cutting gas, automotive and parking expenses less than households.
  • Small businesses avoided cutting telecom spending (while households streamed more content) and trimmed utilities as little as possible.




 

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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the weekly average spending in the first 11 weeks of 2020 (i.e., prior to significant social distancing measures). To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

May 4, 2020

This is the second report in our series examining RBC’s cardholder data1.

  • Consumer spending was still hurting in late April, down 17% from pre-crisis levels but firmer than ~30% in late March.
  • Spending only rose significantly in a few categories, like household construction, suggesting people used at-home time to complete projects, or bought scarce goods wherever they could find them.
  • The concentration of spending and modest changes elsewhere make us wonder whether these green shoots signal braver consumers, or if spending will fall back down soon. Fresh data for the rest of April, due in a few weeks, will complete the picture.


Tiles, not turtlenecks

  • Spending on household goods and services climbed to pre-crisis levels, driven by spending at construction material, appliance, and furniture stores.
  • Software spending remained strong, while discretionary goods like clothing only increased slightly.


Driving, not departures

  • Automotive and gas expenditures rose, likely reflecting gas prices that recovered from crisis lows.
  • Local and international travel spending remain down more than 80%.


On demand, not on display

  • Canadians continued to seek at-home entertainment, spending strongly at merchants selling books, music and other goods, and on services like cable and streaming.
  • Spending at movie theatres and art galleries was decimated by mandatory closures; some other entertainment and art merchants saw an uptick in the week of April 21 likely reflecting digital subscriptions.


Delivery, not dinner out

  • Spending on groceries remained robust as most Canadians dine in.
  • Restaurant spending remains down more than 50%, but ticked up recently as consumers started using take-out and delivery services.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the weekly average spending in the first 11 weeks of 2020 (i.e., prior to significant social distancing measures). To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

April 16, 2020

Note: In order to provide the most accurate and robust insights, the methodology for the COVID Consumer Spending Tracker was recently updated to reflect delays between when transactions occur and when they are recorded in our database. To ensure archived versions of the Tracker are comparable with future versions, we have updated the data below. The key conclusions remain unchanged, though some estimates reflect new data.

It’s not often a Canadian prime minister abruptly upends consumption patterns. Justin Trudeau appears to have inadvertently done that when he went into self-isolation on March 12 after his spouse was diagnosed with COVID-19. That news, along with a 2,350-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, served as a one-two gut punch to Canadian consumers struggling to absorb a spike in pandemic-related developments.

Given the lag in the release of official Canadian retail sales figures, we’ve used RBC’s proprietary spending data1 to provide a snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered Canadian consumption. We believe RBC’s broad Canadian client base serves as a proxy for national consumption. This is the first report in our series examining spending data up to March 31.



Highlights:

  • March 12 will go down in the record books as a pivotal day for Canadian retail spending.
  • Canadians spent 13% more on March 12 than the same day a year earlier, mainly on groceries.
  • Ottawa’s March 16 announcement that it would close borders to most non-citizens dealt big blows to dining and transportation spending.
  • Ontarians and Quebecers increased their shopping by close to half on the day business closures were announced.
  • Card spending fell ~40% in week ended March 31 versus the same period last year.


Baking, not bistros

  • Grocery spending increased 80% in the week ending March 17th as Trudeau began self-isolating, and stayed notably elevated for two weeks.
  • While grocery shopping patterns subsequently normalized, the slowdown in restaurant spending persisted despite takeout/home delivery options.


Software, not streetwear

  • Software and data services spending held up better than other discretionary categories, as Canadians equipped themselves to work from home.
  • Canadians spent 81% less on apparel, gifts, and jewelry in the week ended March 31.
  • After a brief spike in shopping at big box stores, department store sales were down 21% versus a year earlier.


Streaming, not screenings

  • Spending at movie theatres and art galleries had already slowed ahead of social-distancing measures.
  • Spending on books and music (including streaming and online services) has increased slightly.


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‡ Methodology

RBC’s consumer spending tracking report uses RBC Data & Analytics’ proprietary database of anonymized card transactions by Canadian clients. The data are an accounting of merchant transactions that are divided into various spending categories covering tens of millions of weekly card transactions worth billions of dollars each week. Transactions, both in person and online, are classified into 11 broad spending groups: Dining, Education, Finances, Groceries, Health, Household, Shopping, Transport, Travel, Utilities, and Other. Within each group, the data are further classified: for example, shopping covers merchants classified as clothing stores, hobby shops, electronics stores, and jewellers, among others.

We examined changes in the value of all transactions in these areas for 7-day periods starting January 1st, comparing spending to the amount recorded over the same seven days in 2019. We excluded purely financial items (e.g., cash advances, insurance premiums, currency exchanges, fines). To examine the impact of important events, we looked at how spending changed on specific days, both on a daily basis and on an annualized basis relative to that same weekday a year ago.

Protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal information is a cornerstone of our organizational ethics and values and will always be one of our highest priorities. The underlying data for this analysis was aggregated based on transaction date, region and merchant category, and cannot be used to identify any individual client or merchant. For additional information please visit www.rbc.com/privacy.

1Reflects fully anonymized credit and debit card spending.

Colin Guldimann is an economist at RBC. He works primarily on issues related to housing markets, energy, and climate change. Prior to joining RBC, Colin worked on housing policy and macroeconomic research at the Department of Finance in Ottawa.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.