Our figure of the month 05/2021: Covid-19 significantly changes household consumption patterns

Household consumption has changed massively in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. For example, the Federal Statistical Office shows that household spending on package holidays has declined by 67.5% compared to 2019. Other uses affected by the closures (footwear, accommodation, catering) have also plummeted significantly. The decline in transport services is due to the intensive use of home offices.

Despite the crisis, however, there are also areas that have been able to grow. These positive changes are due to evasive reactions: The possibilities to go to a restaurant or to the canteen during work were and are limited – partly employees stayed right in the home office. As a result, food expenses increased – people ate at home. In 2020, leisure activities were significantly reduced by the anti-Covid 19 measures but leisure time was spent at home or – if possible – in the garden.

In total, consumer spending is declining significantly despite counter-reactions. Around 100 billion euros of the disposable income of private households was not spent in 2020. The future will now be characterised by a normalisation of consumption patterns, whereby new experiences of households with home offices or holidays at home may well have medium- and long-term consequences. In addition to possible ongoing structural changes, the question arises whether, and if so to what extent, the savings from 2020 will be spent in later years and lost consumption made up for. In any case, these changes will have a significant impact on the gross domestic product and its breakdown by industries since consumption as a whole determines about 50% of the gross domestic product.

Other figures can be found here.

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