Technology U.S. Payments - UBS Evidence Lab inside: Wave 4 of COVID-19 Spending Survey

Construction accounts for ~40% of US steel demand. A late-April Coronavirus survey by Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) highlights that 50% of ~850 respondents halted projects.

04 May 2020

The bar chart shows the percentage of respondents who responded in various ways to the question "when will your business return to pre-COVID-19 levels".

Wave 4 of survey shows spending stabilizing at weak level

UBS Evidence Lab surveyed 1,000 consumers across the country on April 24-26 about their spending expectations over the next 2-4 weeks and in the post-coronavirus period. While the outlook for spending remains tepid, 48% now indicate they expect to spend at levels similar to the pre-virus period (41% prior) vs. 34% spending less (38% prior). But this outlook is uneven: a majority don’t expect to return to pre-virus levels of spending on travel (70%), entertainment (66%) or restaurants (57%) for some time.

Coronavirus habits may be accelerating the shift from cash to plastic

Among surveyed consumers, 45% indicate they are using their debit/credit card more vs. the pre-virus period (41% prior). And 62% indicated they intend to sustain this elevated use post-crisis (63% prior). Interestingly, 11% indicated this is because they don’t want to touch physical cash.

Ecommerce utilization is also gaining ground

Similarly, among this 45% of consumers who indicated that they are using their debit or credit card more, the primary reason is because of the card‘s utility in ecommerce: 28ppt cited this as the reason (24ppt prior); among the higher income group, this level was 29ppt.

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