15 States With the Biggest Drop in Consumer Spending During COVID-19

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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

The latest surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus once again disrupted an economic recovery that has been uneven to date.

While most jurisdictions did not resort to the same sorts of public health restrictions instituted in early 2020, many businesses struggled to operate at full capacity with employees sick due to COVID-19 and many consumers behaving more cautiously. Industries that have been hard-hit throughout the pandemic, like restaurants and airlines, experienced new disruptions heading into 2022.

Economic challenges associated with omicron and future variants could once again depress consumer spending, piling on top of an unusual decrease in consumer expenditures during the pandemic’s first year. For most of the last 60 years, consumer spending has increased year over year, even during economic downturns. But from 2019 to 2020, overall consumer spending fell by 2.6%, the largest year-over-year decline since the Great Recession.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Personal Consumption Expenditures. To determine the states with the biggest drop in spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers calculated the percentage change in per capita consumer spending from 2019 to 2020.

Following are the states with the biggest drop in spending during COVID-19.

15. Florida

Madeira Beach, Florida
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.1%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,376

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $43,615

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $44,991

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

14. Delaware

Delaware
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.2%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,526

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $45,434

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $46,960

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

13. Washington

Tacoma, Washington
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.5%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,647

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $46,041

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $47,688

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

12. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.7%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,660

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $42,944

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $44,604

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Gasoline and other energy goods

11. North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota
David Harmantas / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.7%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,668

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $43,945

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $45,613

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Gasoline and other energy goods

10. Nevada

Reno, Nevada
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.8%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,532

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $39,211

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $40,743

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Gasoline and other energy goods

9. Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.8%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,888

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $47,397

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $49,285

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

8. Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -3.9%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$1,828

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $44,650

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $46,478

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

7. California

Santa Ana, California
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -4.3%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,086

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $46,636

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $48,722

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

6. Maryland

The shore of Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia, Maryland
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -4.4%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,051

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $44,331

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $46,382

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

5. Minnesota

St Paul Minnesota
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -4.6%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,129

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $44,403

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $46,532

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

4. New York

New York
Mikhail Kolesnikov / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -4.6%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,416

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $49,735

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $52,151

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

3. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
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Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -4.7%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,233

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $45,080

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $47,313

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

2. Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -5.0%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,762

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $52,001

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $54,763

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Transportation services

1. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rocky Grimes / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -5.4%

Total change in consumer spending (2019-2020): -$2,760

Per capita consumer spending (2020): $48,739

Per capita consumer spending (2019): $51,499

Category with the largest decrease in spending: Recreation services

Methodology

Working on computer data analysis on a laptop
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Personal Consumption Expenditures.

To determine the states with the biggest drop in spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers calculated the percentage change in consumer spending from 2019 to 2020. In the event of a tie, the state with the lower total change in consumer spending from 2019 to 2020 was ranked higher.

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