BBVA Research finds that card purchases are already at pre-pandemic levels

E-commerce grows 54%, while 'big data' makes it possible to monitor consumption with precision, thanks to aggregated and anonymised data on purchases made with bank cards
E-commerce grows 54%, while 'big data' makes it possible to monitor consumption with precision, thanks to aggregated and anonymised data on purchases made with bank cards.

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   E-commerce grows 54%, while 'big data' makes it possible to monitor consumption with precision, thanks to aggregated and anonymised data on purchases made with bank cards

The economist responsible for Advanced Analytics at BBVA Research, Tomasa Rodrigo, revealed in the Apie course at the Menéndez Pelayo International University of Santander, participated by the bank, that card purchases in the second week of June increased by 36% in Spain compared to a year earlier and by 25% compared to the same week in 2019. Total non-face-to-face spending stands out, with an increase in e-commerce of 54% compared to the same period in 2019.

BBVA Research expects a sharp recovery in the second half of the year, driven by increased consumption. Tomasa Rodrigo predicted that the savings accumulated in the face of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus will be transformed into consumption, as the vaccination progresses and tourism consolidates a good quarter-on-quarter evolution. The latest forecasts from BBVA Research point to private consumption growth that could reach 6.1% in 2021 and 6.8% in 2022.

At the same time, he stressed that the growing availability of data allows measuring the economic evolution in an "extraordinarily detailed and fast way, helping society and authorities to make the best decisions".

BBVA Research uses big data to monitor consumption with precision, thanks to aggregated and anonymised data on purchases made with the bank's cards.

The use of these data sources provides information in "high frequency, granularity and accuracy, something that makes it possible to anticipate the publication of official figures and have greater detail on the evolution of consumption by sector, region, purchase channel, nationality or means of payment".

In this sense, transaction data have proven to be extremely useful for monitoring the economy during the pandemic in its temporal, cross-sectional and geographical dimensions. "They are especially useful for emerging countries," stressed Tomasa Rodrigo.

BBVA Research's analysis shows strong spending adjustments during the pandemic, in response to confinement, and a rapid recovery during progressive de-escalation.

According to Tomasa Rodrigo, there has also been a broad reallocation of spending categories and income groups that has been correcting as mobility has recovered.