When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would go into lockdown on 27th March, citizens were worried.

This was evident through the vast amount of panic buying we saw at local retailers ahead of the lockdown.

FNB has today sent out a press release regarding how it has seen consumer spending increasing during level four lockdown and we’ll get to that in a moment.

Also in that press release was mention of how much FNB customers spent ahead of lockdown.

The bank looked at data from the the three days before lockdown and gird your loins, because this data is a kicker.

FNB card holders spent in excess of R4.3 billion over three days. For comparison’s sake, in 2018 FNB credit and debit card holders spent R2.8 billion on Black Friday.

Since lockdown started, FNB Retail’s chief executive Raj Makanjee, says the data shows a roller-coaster ride of spending during the period.

“Since the first announcement of measures to go on a lockdown, consumer spending has been on a roller-coaster. While consumers were panic-buying in the days ahead of lockdown, overall consumer spending since the start of lockdown has been subdued. We witnessed a slight increase over the course of level 4 lockdown and expect this trend to continue improving into level 3,” said Makanjee.

As for what consumers are spending money on, as you might assume groceries are popular. What is interesting, however, is where folks are doing their shopping.

“We’ve seen sustained activity in grocery shopping, particularly among merchants which are closer to residential areas compared to shopping malls. Some consumers spent on home improvement items as well as tech and digital, presumably for work and online schooling or kids entertainment during this period,” says chief executive officer of FNB Credit Card, Chris Labuschagne.

While it is encouraging to see the economy slowly coming back to life it should be stressed that we are not out of the dense COVID-19 forest by a long shot.

As such if you are in need of financial relief contact your bank, FNB also has a number of relief packages available to its customers.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]