Change from the COVID-19 pandemic to a New Normal: Two Years of Documenting Consumption Behavior with Big Data

Author Name KONISHI Yoko (Senior Fellow, RIETI) / SAITO Takashi (Consulting Fellow, RIETI) / KANAI Hajime (INTAGE Inc.) / IGEI Naoya (INTAGE Research Inc.) / MIZUMURA Junichi (GfK Marketing Services Japan) / SHIGA Kyoko (Zaim Inc.) / SUEYASU Keita (Zaim Inc.) / HAMAGUCHI Ryosuke (Zaim Inc.)
Creation Date/NO. March 2022 22-J-006
Research Project New Indicator Development and Economic Analysis using Big Data: Service industries
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The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our daily lives in terms of eating, learning, working, and leisure time. Japan has experienced five waves of widespread infection and three emergency declarations but has coped with the crisis in the absence of mandatory lockdowns, behavioral restrictions, and mandatory mask-wearing as seen in other countries. Much of the response has been through behavioral changes in our daily lives. In this paper, we observe the initial disruption, the adaptation period, and the change to a new normal by using "Consumption Big-data." We use POS data from supermarkets, convenience stores, home centers, drugstores, and consumer electronics mass merchandisers, as well as data from household book-keeping applications, for the two-year period from January 2020 to December 2021. The POS data was used to observe item-level sales trends, while the household book-keeping application data was used to observe trends in service expenditures and the prevalence of cashless payments. This made it possible to comprehensively understand the changes of consumer behavior during the pandemic.