Now that each of the 50 states have begun to reopen their economies in varying degrees, we all continue to look for data to understand both the shape and speed of the recovery. While it remains way too early to start celebrating, we do see some very positive economic signs.
Let’s start with the encouraging data released by our partners at NPD, from both their Retail Point-of-Sale Early Indicator Report, as well as from their NPD Receipt Panel of over 140,000 consumers. This data is the most reliable and up-to-date indicator of retail activity in the country.
While NPD did not release Hispanic-specific numbers, Univision’s exclusive data for the Hispanic segment shows similar growth trends. Here are some of the highlights through the end of May:
- When compared to same week previous year, the data showed a four-week upward trend, with sales for the week ending May 30 up an encouraging 5% versus 2019’s dollar totals. Unit sales were also up by 3%, year-over-year.
- When looking at shopping trips as determined by the NPD Receipt Panel, total U.S. retail purchasing traffic continued its slow climb reaching a 96 index vs. pre-crisis baseline. Store traffic increased, while online traffic decreased for the fourth week in a row.
- For a closer look at the NPD numbers, click here or visit their site here.
This data stands in contrast with what you may have read in the press, simply because most of those articles are based on government-sourced numbers that lag as much as six weeks when compared to NPD’s POS and Receipt Panel data.
We find these NPD consumer numbers to be very good news, especially given that over 70% of U.S. GDP is driven by consumption.
Next, let’s look at another critical sector of our economy – the auto market. In this case we are also heartened by data from JD Power, an authoritative source for the category. Here is what we see in JD Power data:
- The week ending June 7 shows retail Auto sales only 10% below the pre-COVID forecast, resulting in the best weekly performance since the COVID crisis began
- Luxury Auto retail sales also showed strong recovery signals with sales for the week ending June 7 only 3% below the pre-virus forecast. This was also the best weekly performance since the COVID crisis began.
- Sales volume grew in all top-25 markets in the week ending June 7 vs. week prior
These numbers reflect the news that all states are again allowing car sales, and auto factories across the U.S. have reopened.
Auto is adapting to our current reality. One example is that a few weeks back, Toyota launched a vehicle virtually. Business marches on.
The data points from Retail and Auto provide us with a dose of cautious optimism that our country is on the way to economic recovery. We are even more optimistic that Hispanic consumers will play an outsized role in this recovery, just like they have driven overall U.S. economic growth the past decade.
My team and I stand at the ready to help you tap into our community’s remarkable purchasing power.
President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, Univision