Datalicious: Helping governments better understand the impact of COVID-19

News · 19 August 2020Thomas Tudehope

We really love data at Revolut. Like, we really love it. It informs a lot of what we do every single day, be it improving the customer experience in the app, or enhancing our own internal systems to be more collaborative and efficient.

We are not alone in our love of data. Businesses large and small across the UK use data to inform their business decisions. Equally, governments are increasingly using a variety of data sources to shape their decision making processes.

One of the challenges of Covid-19 has been the accessibility of real-time transactional data due to the decline of 'point of sale’ purchasing; a result of isolation and social distancing. Over the past few months we’ve been working with the Office of National Statistics to provide them with anonymised and aggregated transactional data so they can better understand how customers across the UK have been reacting to various Covid-19 related restrictions.

As you'll see from the graphs below; consumer spending changed drastically in recent months. These changes in behaviour, and other macro-economic factors, mean that the two main measures of inflation have risen to 1.1% and 1.0% in July from 0.8% and 0.6% in June respectively.

You can read more from the ONS by clicking on their blog post here.

So today, my @ONS colleagues have published some experimental statistics that tries to estimate inflation based on these new spending patterns using a different method to normal. You can read about it here in a blog: (9/n)

— Jonathan Athow (@jathers_ONS) August 19, 2020

Similarly, we've also been working with the Irish Department of Finance to help them better understand how the economic recovery is taking shape in Ireland as restrictions are lifted. You can see from the charts below that there are some positive signs that many areas of the Irish economy are returning to pre-lockdown levels.

Fascinating how @IRLDeptFinance track consumer spending through Revolut transactions. "Some sectors have seen an increase in the total volume of
expenditure, from 355% in paints, varnishes etc. to 164%
increase in durable goods."

— Fiach Kelly (@fiachkelly) July 2, 2020

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