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Second wave of coronavirus is starting to hit spending, says Swedbank

After an economic boost following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs that members of the public are starting to rein in their spending, according to new research from Swedbank.

"Card spending and cash withdrawal in the Baltics dropped as state of emergency was announced, but recovered markedly in the second half of Q2. Q3 has largely not seen further improvements – transactions have remained fairly stable," Swedbank said, before adding "As [the] virus case count surged at the end of August and September, there were downward trends observed, especially in selected sectors... Cash withdrawal [is] still lagging card spending. On average in Q3 cash withdrawal was 12% below last year’s level in Estonia, 9% in Latvia and unchanged in Lithuania."

Swedbank consumer spending report October 2020

The data comes from the 'Consumer Spending in the Baltics' report published October 9.

"Restaurant spending is near 2019 levels in Estonia, slightly above them in Latvia, and well above in Lithuania. There are, however, signs of slowing lately," Swedbank said.

And as recent epidemiological trends will likely put a brake on future figures, the bank added, saying: "Swedbank August forecasts assumed that this time there will be no national lockdowns of the scale seen in spring - the virus upsurge will be dealt with by more efficient testing and tracing, likely more severe restrictions than currently seen and local lockdowns. However, the recent speed of the surge in cases increases the negative risks to the economic outlook." 


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