Institute for Fiscal Studies

December 2020

The first few months of the pandemic saw huge swings in households’ spending, both in total and across various goods and services. This report is based on real-time monitoring of personal finances, spending habits and the geographical differences through the coronavirus pandemic.

It found during the first national lockdown, spending plunged by around a third. But from October to November (the second English lockdown), spending in England increased by about 2%. While that's considerably weaker than the 10% growth seen in Scotland over the same period, it was noted that clearly the effects of the second lockdown were far smaller.

The research found that the biggest declines in spending when the crisis struck were seen in the South of England and had the weakest recovery, with spending in November still 7% below pre-crisis (compared with 3% across the country as a whole).

Download the report