May Insights Show Rebound of In-Store Shopping & the ‘Experience Economy’
PURCHASE, N.Y. — Consumer spending has evolved rapidly over the past two years, from how people pay to where they shop, making economic insights more important than ever. With these new preferences and behaviors, businesses and governments are looking for regular insights to help guide their planning and decision making. To support these needs, Mastercard SpendingPulseTM has been extended across Europe to the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Poland. Measuring in-store and online sales across all forms of payments, Mastercard SpendingPulse shows that Spain, the U.K., and France led year-over-year growth in May among the countries measured, not adjusted for inflation.
Mastercard SpendingPulse offers frequent, trusted retail insights with a deep level of geographic granularity and is an established economic indicator in the U.S., Brazil, Australia and other markets around the world. With daily metrics and weekly updates, retailers, financial institutions and others have come to rely on the insights during key retail moments, holidays and year-round.
“The Great Rebalancing is underway across Europe, as consumers shift from spending on goods to the experiences they’ve been deprived of these past two years. This is good news for experiential sectors like restaurants and lodging,” said Natalia Lechmanova, Senior Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “Despite higher prices, the consumer remains resilient. We’re seeing spending continue broadly, though we’re starting to see wallet shifts.”
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, key trends for May show the diversification of spending across sectors and channels as pandemic restrictions ease:
- Total retail sales excluding auto were up across most markets compared to May 2021 but also compared to a pre-pandemic May 2019.
- In-store sales continue to rebound, with growth across the majority of markets.
- E-commerce sales slowed, though remain largely elevated compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
Sectors such as Electronics, Grocery and Furniture, experienced reduced year-over-year growth rates in May as pandemic restrictions eased and spending expanded beyond goods and back to services.
Sectors related to consumer mobility and experiences, such as Restaurants and Lodging, are seeing extraordinary growth compared to suppressed activity last year. This is driven by pent-up demand and the broader return to travel, as well as price increases.
“The consumer is the heart of the economy,” said Mark Barnett, President, Mastercard Europe. “By drawing on our unique retail sales insights, we’re able to provide a near real-time pulse of consumer health and trends. This helps businesses and governments alike understand today’s consumer, and ultimately adapt to their ever-changing needs across channels.”