Blogs | May 18, 2022

Consumer Spend Trend: 2021 Was A Year Of Recovery

Stepping into the post pandemic era one wonders, will we ever sit on an airplane stress-free again? Will we ever walk around a mall mask-free again? Will we ever get the pleasure of getting annoyed by someone on a bus? Will we finally grab a coffee with that friend we’ve been ghosting for a while? Will we ever find ways to escape a relative who always overstays their visit? Will we get a chance once again to give excuses to our bosses for running late to work? 

2021 started off as a shinier year, so it’s safe to gets your hopes up. By March 2021, one year after the COVID pandemic began, total spending volumes began to recover beyond pre-pandemic levels, alongside key industries including restaurants, retail, and travel.

Let’s dive deeper into the stats:


In the first quarter of the year, when things started to open and the restrictions eased up a little, consumers started to venture out. 

  • Household expenses went up 23% with customers spending money on groceries, WiFi bills, and more
  • Health services saw an 18% increase as walk-in clinics opened up
  • Bike shops had unforeseen footfall and saw an incredible increase of 89%. With many working from home and gyms shut, biking around became a good way of exercising and keeping fit
  • Swimming pools experienced an exponential increase of 226% with people running to the pools after a yearlong wait
  • Recreational activities like museums, malls, and other places opened with limited capacity. So, the consumer spend on these activities increased about 76%
  • Golf lovers got back into the groove and consumer spending on public golf courses increased by 48%


In the second quarter of the year, restaurants, gyms, and retail stores were back in business.

  • The retail industry only saw a 15% increase as consumers were comfortable shopping online too
  • Restaurants slowly started to recover as they opened with limited capacity. Consumer spending increased by 35% 
  • Gyms and studios opened, and fitness lovers couldn’t be happier. Gym memberships increased by a good 35%


The third quarter of the year is when we saw the maximum progress. Travel restrictions eased up and the tourism industry started to pick up pace.

  • Consumers had been waiting with bated breath for the airlines to fly again and as soon as the restrictions were lifted, they started to travel again both domestically and internationally. The airlines industry experienced an incredible increase of 282%
  • Hotel lobbies that had been empty for over a year now saw an increase of 45% with consumers starting to travel back again
  • Amusements parks opened and tickets sold like hotcakes. Consumer spending increased by 325%
  • Bowling alleys witnessed an increase of 104%
  • Tourist attractions benefited from both domestic and international travelers and experienced an increase of 63%


The final quarter of the year is when movie theatres opened, and concerts resumed.

  • Movie theatres did practice social distancing but that didn’t stop consumers from flocking to the halls to watch their favorite films. Consumer spending on movie tickets increased by 278%
  • People had been waiting for social gatherings like concerts, bands performances. Their spending on these activities increased by 131%
  • Restaurants made room for more customers to dine-in and saw an increase of 36%
  • On Black Friday we saw a 7% increase in volumes year-over-year and a 15% increase week-over-week

If you love numbers and data as much as we do, click here to read more Moneris® Data Stories

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed.

About the data: Year-over-year volumes are based on a comparison to the same period in the year prior. Moneris® spending reports measure spending in Canada across a range of categories by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. The figures and percentages cited are derived from aggregated transaction volumes being processed by Moneris® in the applicable categories.