One economist’s assessment: “This is the sharpest decline in consumer spending that we have ever seen.”
Using data from Earnest Research — which tracks and analyzes credit card and debit card purchases of nearly six million people in the United States — The New York Times looked in detail at which sectors have expanded amid the pandemic-led lockdowns of daily life and which have been hardest hit.
A main factor behind the patterns has been the fallout as more than 16 million workers in the country have filed for unemployment. And with no end to the outbreak in sight, consumer spending is likely to be fundamentally different for many months to come.
Reporting was contributed by Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Michael D. Shear, Mark Mazzetti, Julian E. Barnes, Nicholas Fandos, Amy Julia Harris, John Leland, Michael Wines, Adam Liptak, David Yaffe-Bellany, Michael Corkery, Courtney Mabeus, Adam Goldman, Manny Fernandez, Amy Harmon, Emily Cochrane, Jason M. Bailey, Peter Baker, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Heather Murphy, Alan Rappeport, Mariel Padilla, Giovanni Russonello, Adeel Hassan, Eliza Shapiro, Mike Baker, Tracey Tully, Emma Goldberg, Karen Schwartz, Sam Sifton, Marc Tracy, Lauren Leatherby, David Gelles, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Caitlin Dickerson and Danielle Ivory.
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