The Pandemic Hasn’t Impacted Overall Consumer Spending in 2020

Many of the purchases have been made in the home improvement department as Americans spend more time at home.

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One would think that amid a pandemic that Americans are holding on to their pocketbooks. But, one of the country’s top CEOs says it’s quite the opposite.

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s CEO, says that American consumers are spending more money this year than they did last year.

“When you look at what they’re spending year-to-date, they’ve spent more in 2020 than they did in 2019,” Moynihan said. “And that is now across $2.7 trillion in money moved by our consumers.”

Moynihan made the comments in a CNBC interview. The data shows that Americans are showing the same resilience they always have during turmoil, despite record numbers of rising COVID-19 cases.

Experts say it might be because federal stimulus aid gave Americans a cash infusion while helping to stabilize the economy.

“Way back in May, you could see it flattening out and starting to grow. Now it’s really grown every month since then,” Moynihan said. “The month of November was up about 4% over the last November, and the month of December so far is up double digits.”

According to Moynihan, some of the more recent spending happened because the typical Thanksgiving week holiday frenzy was pushed to December because of the virus’s restrictions.

However, there’s one sector that’s hurting because of restrictions. Restaurant spending is 25 percent lower this year in a year-to-year comparison. Meanwhile, home improvement purchases are making up for lagging purchases in other areas.

Moynihan pointed out that more stimulus will be needed to help unemployed workers and struggling businesses. However, lawmakers are still in disagreement over negotiations to approve a new federal relief package before the end of the year.

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