December 3, 2020

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“The number of debit card transactions is now decreasing less than it was with the lock in March.”

"The number of debit card transactions is now decreasing less than it was with the lock in March."

The number of PIN transactions fell less sharply in the past week than in the first blocking week in March. Then the number of transactions dropped by 20 percentage points in one week. In this first week of partial lockdown, the drop is 5 percentage points, as ING’s figures show.

According to ING economist Marten van Garderen, an important reason is that this time entrepreneurs reacted better to the measures. “Many stores can stay up as usual. That was also possible in March, but many stores voluntarily closed their doors to put things in order. For example, they had to redesign everything and buy fenders. Now everything is there.”

Difficult to compare

However, according to Van Garderen, it is difficult to compare the two locks. Not only do entrepreneurs now know better how to deal with the measures, but the economy also comes to a less abrupt standstill than the first time.

In addition, it was autumn break last week. More people stayed in the Netherlands and this could give a slightly skewed picture of the number of PIN transactions.

This week, it became clear from Pin sales figures that the hotel and catering industry will be less affected by this lockdown than it was in March. While cafes and restaurants had around 85 percent less sales on the first day of closure in March than at this time of year, it was around 65 percent less on October 15.

Hardware stores, supermarkets and hardware stores

The hardware stores are still more frequented than in previous years. Pin sales for this sector were still about 20 percent higher than normal last week despite the stricter measures. We also still spend more in supermarkets and furniture stores than in previous years.

Still, according to Van Garderen, it remains difficult to predict the impact of this second corona wave on the economy. “We seem more focused on the new reality, but the damage to the economy will depend entirely on how this second wave plays out,” he says.