Although in June there were transactions close to pre-pandemic values, it is estimated that global consumption is still 25 percent below expectations in June 2020", says the SIBS in a statement, pointing out that this situation points to “an estimated loss of transactions in the pandemic period (March to June) of €8 billion, equivalent to about 200 million transactions”.

According to data from the SIBS Analytics platform, the first 100 days since the declaration of the state of emergency reveal that in that period 60 percent of consumers drastically reduced their card purchases, with only a small group, 10 percent, who maintained the same pace of shopping.

During this period, and in comparison with the behaviour before the pandemic, there were also some changes in the way of buying and paying, with the use of the MB Way service reaching record values.

According to SIBS, the MB Way service doubled the volume of transactions compared to the beginning of the year.

“The confinement period generated a drop of around 50 percent in physical purchases compared to the pre-Covid months of January and February. In ‘online’ purchases, the decrease was less expressive, of just 17 percent, so they took on a greater weight in the total of transactions carried out,” the statement said.

The weight of ‘e-commerce’ (electronic commerce) in total purchases was around 9 percent before the pandemic, having increased to 14 percent during the containment phase.

Despite the growth of the digital channel, the numbers are not enough to compensate for the fall in global consumption that has affected and continues to affect different sectors and products differently.

The sectors of super and hypermarkets, petrol stations / raw materials and pharmacies and para-pharmacies “were shown to be resilient throughout the period under analysis”, but “with some drop in the volume of transactions during the containment period, but with a very strong recovery in the phase of gradual return”.

Among the most vulnerable sectors are catering, tourist accommodation, passenger transport, fashion and accessories, which after a severe drop during confinement are now seeing a gradual recovery.

In tourism, data shows a gradual return to domestic tourism, with hotels and restaurants accounting for 60 percent of the volumes at the beginning of the year.

The SIBS data also shows strong drops in the volume of international purchases, that is, foreigners in Portugal and Portuguese abroad, in stores.

“During the confinement phase, the reduction in the daily average of physical purchases from foreigners was equivalent to 83 percent compared to the average prior to the first case recorded in Portugal”, points out SIBS.
The slight recovery recorded in the deflation phase is still 72 percent below the average recorded in the pre-pandemic.