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Consumer responses to the Covid-19 crisis: evidence from bank account transaction data

This paper uses transaction-level customer data from the largest bank in Denmark to estimate consumer responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and the partial shutdown of the economy. We find that aggregate card spending has dropped sharply by around 25% following the shutdown. The drop is mostly concentrated on goods and services whose supply is directly restricted by the shutdown, suggesting a limited role for spillovers to non-restricted sectors through demand in the short term. The spending drop is somewhat larger for individuals more exposed to the economic risks and health risks introduced by the Covid-19 crisis; however, pre-crisis spending shares in the restricted sectors is a much stronger correlate of spending responses.

Lead investigator:

Asger Lau Anderson


University of Copenhagen

Primary topic:

Recession & recovery

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

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Type of data being collected:

From private company

Unit of real-time data collection


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