Data: Consumer spending nearly back to pre-pandemic levels

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A data tracker supported by a Harvard University nonprofit shows consumer spending in Michigan is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Opportunity Insights traditionally focuses on economic issues to support policies and identify strategies to eliminate poverty and help the lower-class. Its data shows that consumer spending in Michigan is down just 0.9% since COVID-19 was first confirmed in the United States.

The latest data is from Aug. 23. Michigan’s lowest point was March 30 – with consumer spending down 38.5% from Jan. 20.

The graph is courtesy of Opportunity Insights/

Spending in Michigan actually made gains for most of the summer – above zero for most of June and July before dipping back below even in August. That dip came Aug. 10 – approximately two weeks after the $600 unemployment bonus funded by the CARES Act expired.

There are two notable bumps that show a rise in spending: April 15 and May 11. April 15 was when the first stimulus checks started being paid out. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also loosened restrictions on May 11 to allow more businesses to reopen with restrictions.

You can dig into the data yourself and learn more about Opportunity Insights online.